Utah man charged in death of vulnerable adult in Alaska

May 10, 2022, 1:05 PM | Updated: 1:59 pm

HOMER, Alaska (AP) — A Utah man has been accused of raping, torturing and murdering a vulnerable adult when he lived in Alaska.

Kirby F. Calderwood, 32, was arrested Monday by police in Ogden, Utah, the Homer Police Department said. He was charged Saturday in Alaska with first- and second-degree murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence in the death of Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, the Homer News reported.

Murnane went missing Oct. 17, 2019, when she set out for a mile walk from her apartment to a Homer medical clinic for an appointment but was never seen again.

Authorities allege Calderwood picked her up and drove her to the unoccupied home of his then-girlfriend’s parents, where he assaulted and tortured her for hours before killing her. The girlfriend was out of town, according to an affidavit from an investigator with the police department.

Murnane’s body has not been recovered.

Calderwood is being held on $1 million bail in Utah. Authorities say he lived in Homer at the time Murnane disappeared and knew her from working at her supported housing complex and other social programs.

His attorney, Michael Bouwhuis in Ogden, did not immediately return a call Tuesday to The Associated Press seeking comment.

Police said Calderwood was already a person of interest and interviewed about the case in 2021 before a tipster called Kenai Peninsula Crimestoppers in Alaska in April, saying he talked to them about the kidnapping and death of Murnane.

The tipster also said Calderwood had a woman’s Timex watch he took from the victim. When Ogden police executed a search warrant at Calderwood’s home, they said they found a Timex that matched a description that Murnane’s parents gave police.

Ogden police said they also found one of the missing person flyers distributed with Murnane’s photo on it.

Calderwood fled to Utah after being questioned by detectives in Alaska, Utah prosecutors said in court documents.

Homer Police Investigator Matt Haney said in the affidavit that he and Ogden police officers executed multiple search warrants related to Calderwood in Ogden on May 5.

The warrants were for Calderwood’s residence as well as hair samples and buccal swabs.

The first warrant was served on Caldwell during a traffic stop as he left the residence.

Despite a protective order against him barring him from having guns, police found two rifles in his car. They also found a machete and other large knives that appeared to have dried blood on them during a search of his home, court documents state.

Murnane was 38 when she left her supported housing complex and disappeared.

In subsequent searches, dogs tracked her scent to an area near a college campus, where it stopped. Authorities said at the time that was an indication she had been picked up in a car. Murnane’s parents have said she would not get in car with someone she did not know.

Unsuccessful searches continued throughout the fall, and Murnane was declared dead June 17, 2021, in a presumptive death jury hearing. The jury determined she most likely died by homicide.

Calderwood had worked at the supportive housing complex where Murnane lived, and he would sometimes eat meals with her in a program at the South Peninsula Behavioral Services, the mental health agency that runs the supported housing unit, Homer Police special investigator Matt Haney wrote in an affidavit.

When Calderwood’s then-girlfriend was out of town, he prepared a crawlspace in her parents’ unoccupied home to torture someone, according to the affidavit.

He then allegedly drove around Homer looking for a victim. He chanced upon Murnane, who got in the car, and he drove her to the house, according to both the affidavit and the tipster.

A Loved and Lost Bench, a sculpture in memory of Murnane and missing and murdered people, will be dedicated June 12 at the Homer Public Library.


Associated Press reporter Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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Utah man charged in death of vulnerable adult in Alaska