(Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

(Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles triple homicide investigation expected to be lengthy

PORT ANGELES — Investigators have way more digging to do before identifying a suspect in the Christmas season shooting deaths of two men and a woman in a rural area east of Port Angeles, a Clallam County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said.

“Steady wins the race,” sheriff’s Sgt. John Keegan said Friday.

“We’re expecting a lengthy investigation.

“This is going to go on for a while.”

Keegan said law enforcement personnel continued Friday to gather evidence from the 52 Bear Meadow Road home site off Deer Park Road on Friday where the triple homicide occurred.

It was the same day autopsies began on victims Darrell C. Iverson, 57; his son, Jordan D. Iverson, 27, and Iverson’s girlfriend, Tiffany A. May, 26.

The examinations will be completed Monday, county Prosecuting Attorney-Coroner Mark Nichols said late Friday.

Each was shot multiple times, probably on Dec. 26, probably by one person whose gender is unknown, Keegan said.

The bodies of Iverson and his son were found New Year’s Eve under a tarp in the driveway and the body of May on New Year’s Day in an outbuilding.

“It’s quite a horrific crime,” Keegan said.

“We’re still waiting for the state Crime Lab to map out the entire scene.

“We don’t believe we have any eyewitnesses, so we have a lot of catching up to do.

“Our goal is to recreate that moment in time when these murders occurred and to do that by evidence and interpretation and witness interviews.”

On Friday, the Sheriff’s Office requested specific assistance from residents on the Deer Park Road-O’Brien Road-Township Line Road area of Bear Meadow Road.

Investigators want to examine any home surveillance footage, game camera videos or other video recordings that might show those roadways around the time of the homicides.

Anyone with those records should call the Sheriff’s Department tip line at 360-417-2540.

Keegan said residents should call that number even if they simply saw someone they did not recognize in the area or if they saw or heard something that made them suspicious.

“The reality is, we’d rather have too much information and filter it out than not have enough information,” he said.

“I can’t interview the 72,000 people who live in the county, but I can give 72,000 people the phone number to call for information.”

For example, investigators were interviewing a resident Friday who heard several gunshots around Christmas, Keegan said.

It is an area where it’s legal to shoot firearms, he added.

The Iversons and May lived in a three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot home that Darrell Iverson had owned since November 2011, according to a quit claim deed recorded in the county Assessor’s Office.

The home is valued at $132,177, not including land.

They were known to let friends sleep in recreational vehicles on the 4.8-acre site, and gave them access to the home, Keegan said.

“If someone needed a place to stay, they allowed them to stay there,” Keegan said.

“It was kind of a stopping point for transients that would crash there for an X amount of time, and then leave.

“Friends help friends out, so if you have a situation where a friend doesn’t have a place to stay, you say, yeah, you can come crash here for a week.”

The investigation is complicated by the number of people who had access to the property, Keegan said.

Investigators do not know if the shooter stayed at Iverson’s home but believe the person had knowledge of the victims.

“We don’t believe this to be a random act, because since that has happened, we have not had any other random acts, any other crimes of that nature.”

County Code Enforcement Officer Barb McFall said Friday that the county did not receive any complaints about the property or initiate any on-site septic or code enforcement procedures.

“We were unaware of the existence of any occupied trailers on that property,” she said.

“That’s not allowed.”

Keegan said that since Jan. 1, 2018, the sheriff’s department had responded to two civil complaints at the property regarding non-criminal activity that were made by neighbors about, for example, unknown persons there when the occupants were not present.

“It would be like a neighbor calling in that something was happening,” Keegan said.

Sheriff Bill Benedict had said Tuesday there were multiple “persons of interest” in the case.

Merriam-Webster.com gives a “legal definition” of person of interest as “a person who is believed to be possibly involved in a crime but has not been charged or arrested.”

Keegan said investigators talked to someone identified as a person of interest who had access to the property and “intimate knowledge” of the victims.

There was a person “we were interested in talking to,” Keegan said.

That person is now being treated as “a witness to what had been going on at that residence over the last month or so, the last couple of months,” Keegan said.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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