A woman and her three children were found dead in a mobile home that had been destroyed by fire, and her husband of two months has been arrested on suspicion of murder and arson.
The Seattle Times reports that authorities found the bodies after the Port Angeles trailer became engulfed in flames in the early hours of Sunday morning. The identities of the victims are awaiting confirmation, but police reportedly believe they are Valerie Kambeitz, 34; Lilly Kambeitz, 9; Emma Kambeitz, 6; and Jayden Kambeitz, 5.
Kambeitz’s husband Matthew T. Wetherington was not at the residence when authorities responded, and Port Angeles police told the Seattle Times that he had been seen running from the burning trailer. Police later found him camping in a park not far from the mobile home.
According to the report, Wetherington is a registered sex offender with a criminal history that includes assault and child molestation convictions. He has been arrested and is now facing four counts of first-degree murder and one count of arson.
While firefighters were able to contain the fire from spreading throughout the mobile home park, a woman who identified herself as Valerie Kambeitz’s sister told the newspaper that her mother, who also lives in the park, went into cardiac arrest as the two women watched Valerie’s home burn. The mother was subsequently hospitalized, and her condition is not known, but the report indicates she is expected to survive.
Facebook profiles appearing to belong to both Valerie and Matthew show recent photos of them appearing to be happy, along with photos of her smiling children. Relatives told the Seattle Times that while some had reservations about Wetherington’s criminal history, Valerie was very happy with him, and there was no sign of mistreatment.
“He never touched her inappropriately, her, or those kids,” Valerie’s sister Ashley Kambeitz told the newspaper. “I want to put that out there.”
Authorities have not commented yet about a possible motive for the apparent murder.
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