Anacortes elementary teacher's husband gone missing after stabbing

Anacortes police are searching for a man considered a person of interest in the death of a 41-year-old Anacortes woman found stabbed to death in her home Tuesday afternoon. 

The tragedy comes as a shock to the Anacortes community. Before 2022, when one homicide was reported, the community had gone 38 years without any homicides. 

police crime tape in front of home

Police crime tape surrounds the Anacortes home of the teacher found dead on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.  (Lauren Donovan)

Anacortes Police responded to a call at around 4:40 p.m. on April 9, reporting a woman found deceased inside a residence on J Avenue. 

Upon arrival, officers confirmed the victim's death. The caller, identified as the victim's father-in-law, reported the woman's husband, also a 41-year-old Anacortes resident, a person of interest, and possibly suicidal and traveling towards Deception Pass bridge.

A search of the residence revealed the couple's vehicle missing. Later, Washington State Patrol troopers located the vehicle abandoned on the center island of Deception Pass bridge.

Anacortes Police stated in a Facebook post Tuesday, "Law enforcement considers the husband to be a person of interest in the murder." As of this time, he remains missing, and search efforts are underway with assistance from K-9 units from Snohomish County.

Adding to the complexity of the case, authorities report responding to an earlier incident on Tuesday involving a body spotted in the water near Deception Pass bridge. Recovery efforts for that body were unsuccessful. While not confirmed, Anacortes Police believe the two cases may be connected.

On Wednesday, the identity of the Anacortes woman was confirmed as Island View Elementary teacher Caitlin Follstad. 

A news release from the Anacortes School District read, "It is with heavy hearts that we announce the tragic loss of Caitlin Follstad, a cherished member of the Island View Elementary community. Her passion for education led her to Island View Elementary, where she served as a teacher, mentor, and friend. The Anacortes School District extends its sympathies to Caitlin's family, friends, students, and colleagues during this difficult time." 

purple rose on sidewalk

A single purple rose lies on the sidewalk outside Island View Elementary on April 10, 2024, in Anacortes, Wash. 

According to Anacortes police on Wednesday, there is no prior history of violence at the couple's home. However, police did tell FOX 13 Seattle, they had one call in March reporting the suspect was experiencing some mental health issues. Police say it was "nothing violent though and nothing rising even close to this issue." 

The children of the deceased woman and missing man are safe with family members.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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