Detectives: Starbuck was killed last Thursday

Spokane sheriff’s detectives headed back to Deer Park Wednesday looking for more evidence in the murder of Chanin Starbuck last week.

Wednesday morning detectives were knocking on doors in Starbuck’s neighborhood hoping someone saw the killer slip inside Starbuck’s residence.

Investigators wanted to expand the size of the area they’re canvassing after Spokane’s medical examiner ruled her death a homicide. Starbuck was found strangled to death inside her home on Saturday.

While she was found Saturday during a welfare check, Major Crimes detectives revealed that Starbuck’s core body temperature suggests she was murdered last Thursday. The finding means the killer got a two-day headstart on investigators and more time to cover his tracks.

“The information we want to get from people is if they’ve seen somebody go to and from the house, if you know of any associates of the family member or if you know of any strange vehicles or strange people who have been in the area the last 30 days,” Lieutenant Steve Barbieri with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said.

There were no signs of forced entry on Starbuck’s home and it wasn’t ransacked. Detectives think it’s likely Starbuck was killed by someone she knew but reluctant to narrow the focus of their investigation too early.

“Where we are at right now is determining who she was with who her associates were any strange people or vehicles in the neighborhood and let the evidence and the statements guide us toward the suspect who did this,” Barbieri said.

Starbuck’s five children were staying with her ex-husband at the time of the murder. After the couple’s divorce earlier this year, Chanin Starbuck had resumed dating and some of those men have already voluntarily stepped forward with information.

“They’re calling us to tell us what they know about her last 30 days or to give us insight in to what they know about her previous relationships with other people,” Barbieri said.

During Starbuck’s autopsy the medical examiner recovered biological evidence that’s been submitted to the state patrol crime lab. Detectives are hoping DNA will reveal her killer’s identity.