Home / National News / Washington Police Surround Bunker of Survivalist Suspected of Murdering His Family


(NEW YORK) — Authorities are planning their next move today after they pumped tear gas into the hillside bunker of a survivalist who allegedly shot his wife and daughter in the head and set the family home on fire.

Three dozen SWAT officers hiked through rugged terrain and undergrowth near the Rattlesnake Ridge trail in the Cascade foothills of Washington Friday to reach the elaborate bunker where authorities believe Peter Keller, 41, is hiding.

Authorities have not seen Keller since they responded to a fire at his North Bend residence on Sunday.

Inside, responders found the bodies of Keller’s wife, Lynnettee Keller, 41, and daughter Kaylene, 19.

Keller is believed to have spent eight years planning and building his bunker, as well as stockpiling food and supplies, police said.

SWAT officers told King County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Cindi West that photos of the bunker “don’t do it justice.”

After pumping tear gas into the bunker, authorities heard movement inside but did not enter the structure, which they believe could be booby-trapped.

Keller is also believed to be heavily armed and equipped with a gas mask.

“It’s a very extreme and tactical situation. Time is on our side. We’re not going to do anything rash, said King County Sheriff Steve Strachan.

Authorities got close enough to the bunker to remove a door on Friday, West said. They’re also considering using water to flood out Keller, the Seattle Times reported.

Sheriff’s deputies were able to pinpoint Keller’s hiding place after they found photos that he had intended to burn in his home of the bunker.

An enhanced picture revealed the North Bend Premium Outlets in the background, which led police to the Rattlesnake Ridge area.

The trail will be closed until further notice.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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