Families Grieve Loss Of Sarah Clark, Tanner Pehl

SPOKANE – An arrest is made, another victim identified, but still many unanswered questions from Thursday’s double murder in north Spokane County.

Twenty-year-old Tanner Pehl and 18-year-old Sarah Clark were found murdered early Thursday morning. They had been stabbed, before the house was set on fire.

Twenty-year-old Justin Crenshaw is in jail for the crimes. He made his first court appearance on Friday.

For both the Pehls and the Clarks, the tragedy is still sinking in. While there is some closure that a suspect is behind bars, it won’t bring Tanner and Sarah back.

By Friday afternoon, we knew the other victim of thursday morning’s tragedy. It was 18-year-old Sarah Clark.

“She was beautiful,” says Teesha Clark, Sarah’s mother. “She had a beautiful smile with these huge dimples.”

Clark was a senior at Mead High School. Her mother says she loved to play piano, take pictures and play with her pets. She had so much in front of her.

“She was just an amazing, amazing girl,” Teesha Clark says. “We loved her so much.”

The Clarks have struggled to cope. Friends and faith has helped them through. But for Sarah’s parents and her five siblings, the house feels empty.

“My husband and I are all sitting in the living room and we realized that this is us now,” says Teesha. “Sarah’s not with us.”

They barely knew the suspect, Justin Crenshaw. They’re glad he’s in jail, a feeling echoed by the Pehl family, as they deal with the loss of their son, Tanner.

“His best attribute, being so unjudging, killed him,” says David Pehl, Tanner’s father. “That’s what happened. He knew this guy was kind of wicked, he had an eerie feeling when he met him.”

On Friday night, the Pehls took personal items out of the house. But how Tanner treated people, that they’ll take with them forever.

pehl “They might have purple hair and nose piercings,” David Pehl says. “Tanner would say, ‘Dad, these are good people. They have a good heart.’ That’s who Tanner was.”

Earlier on Friday evening, a large candlelight vigil was held by friends of the victims at Holmberg Park. The families have expressed an interest in meeting, to console each other in this difficult time.