Grieving Families Meet For The First Time

SPOKANE – It was the first meeting between two families, both devastated by death but united in grieving.

The families of 18-year-old Sarah Clark and twenty-year-old Tanner Pehl met on Saturday at the Riplinger Funeral Home.  Friends and family of these two young people are still in shock after police found the bodies of Sarah Clark and Tanner Pehl inside a North Spokane home, both had been stabbed to death.

Sarah’s parents, Steve and Teesha Clark, said that meeting the Pehl family was a very emotional experience but at the same time comforting.

“They’re probably the only people that really know what we’re going through. So in that it was good to meet with them and to be able to extend our sympathies to each other,” Teesha Clark said.

Police have arrested 20-year-old Justin Crenshaw in connection with the murders. Crenshaw worked with Tanner at Brooklyn’s Restaurant. Having Crenshaw behind bars brings some closure to the families, but it doesn’t erase the grief these two families are going through.

“It’s just incomprehensible and we’re going to miss her,” Steve Clark said.

Crenshaw had been seeing Sarah Clark for a little while, but Sarah’s parents didn’t know him well. They say their daughter loved to play the piano, take pictures and play with her pets. Sarah was a senior at Mead High School the same school that Tanner Pehl graduated from.

The Clarks say that they are using friends and faith to get them through this tough time. The same friends that loved Sarah and knew her best.

“She was so loved by her family, her large extended family, church friends, church families that she has grown up with, she was just so loved,” Teesha said.

On Friday friends and family of both victims held a candlelight vigil to honor both Sarah and Tanner at Holmberg Park.

As flowers and gifts were dropped off at a makeshift memorial outside the house where the bodies were found, it was made clear that even though Sarah and Tanner are gone this community will not forget them anytime soon.