SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane County Sheriff's deputies have arrested Clay Starbuck, the ex-husband of the Deer Park woman who was found murdered in her home on December 3. He's being charged with 1st Degree Murder and 2nd Degree Burglary for the death of his ex-wife Chanin.
Starbuck was taken into custody and transported to the Spokane County Jail late Monday morning. A KXLY4 crew was at the jail when Starbucks was taken in to be booked for Chanin's murder.
Following up on a welfare check request from friends and family early in December, deputies found Chanin Starbuck dead in her home. Detectives found Starbuck lying on her bed deceased and the investigation confirmed she had been beaten and strangled. They also found on signs of forced entry into the residence.
Detectives interviewed a number of people, including people she had dated recently, and asked a number of people, including her ex-husband Clay, for DNA samples. Detectives on the case told KXLY just last week, they were awaiting DNA test results to return from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab which might help identify Chanin's killer.
It's not clear yet what role, if any, those test results played in Clay Starbuck's arrest for his ex-wife's death, though last week they said that the DNA results were driving their investigation and they had long suspected who the killer was but needed the results to confirm those suspicions.
The Starbucks had five children together and at the time of Chanin's murder, the couple were locked in a contentious battle over Clay providing child support to Chanin. At the time of Chanin's death, Clay Starbuck owed $9,000 in child support and related fees. Also, in the weeks before her murder, Starbuck thought her estranged husband had been stealing from her and went as far as to install security cameras in her home in the hopes of catching the thief in action.