Murdered woman's family speaks out

Published On: Dec 12 2012 11:51:00 PM PST   Updated On: Dec 13 2012 09:47:29 AM PST
Murdered woman's family speaks out
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A man wanted for killing a Spokane woman allegedly confessed to the crime before leaving town, leaving the victim's family grieving and planning her funeral.

According to court documents, 38-year old Tony Callihan told his stepfather he "got into a fight with a girl at a 'meth party' and he shoved and choked her."

Last Friday, the body of 48-year old Michelle Koenen was discovered inside her apartment at 2305 W. Broadway.

"She was very loving, caring," Jackie Koenen said. "She always seemed to be having fun, always smiling."

Jackie, Michelle's niece, said she learned of her aunt's death through Facebook.  Jackie said she then drove to her aunt's west Spokane home to get more information about her death.

"We get there and it's all blocked off with the yellow tape," Jackie said.

"I think my dad and grandmother are taking it the hardest.  And, it hits them off an on.  Luckily they've had a lot of people come off and on and support them," she said.

Jackie said news of an alleged meth party at her aunt's home came as a surprise.

"Since she was so distant I don't know what she was into," Jackie said.

As police search for Callihan, Jackie and her family plan a funeral.

"It's just horrible and you would think he would be caught by now I guess," she said.

Michelle's funeral is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. at St. Charles Catholic Church.

An account has been set up at Numerica Credit Union under Michelle Koenen to help pay for funeral expenses.

"Michelle was an amazing person," Jackie added.