News

Murder suspect has Whidbey ties

A Pacific County man accused, along with his wife, of murdering three people and disposing their bodies near the couple’s Raymond home has ties to Oak Harbor.

David Knotek, 51, worked for Oak Harbor’s Island Construction and kept a part-time residence on the island for the past seven years, according to Sheriff Mike Hawley.

“He was a dedicated employee,” said Ollie Hardcastle, a spokesperson for Island Construction. She said she wasn’t able to release any other information about his employment.

David Knotek and his wife, 49-year-old Michelle Knotek, are being held on $2 million bail on suspicion of the first-degree murder of 36-year-old Kathy Loreno.

The case made statewide headlines after police found human remains on the couple’s property and started looking for evidence of two other bodies.

After his arrest, Knotek allegedly told sheriff’s deputies that he and his wife befriended the two down-and-out men and the single woman, abused them and clandestinely disposed of their bodies after they died, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Prosecutors believe that Loreno and 57-year-old Ronald Woodworth died from injuries suffered from repeatedly abuse, the P-I reported. The Associated Press reported that police believe Knotek shot 19-year-old Shane Watson because he knew about the abuse.

David Knotek told investigators that all the deaths were accidental, the P-I reported.

Sheriff Hawley said several detectives have been in touch with a new task force set up in Pacific County to deal with the case.

“There is no indication that he (Knotek) committed any crimes while he was here,” Hawley said.

You can reach News-Times reporter Jessie Stensland at jstensland@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611.

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