Man indicted in missing Homer woman’s murder

the kenai courthouse
The courthouse in Kenai. (Sabine Poux/KDLL)

A Kenai grand jury indicted Kirby Calderwood Wednesday in the 2019 killing of Anesha “Duffy” Murnane, of Homer.

Thirty-two-year-old Calderwood is charged with nine felony counts, including murder, kidnapping and sexual assault in Murnane’s disappearance.

Calderwood worked at the supportive-living complex where Murnane was being cared for. He was arrested this spring — two-and-a-half years after he allegedly kidnapped Murnane while she was walking to a doctor’s appointment in downtown Homer.

Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said 38-year-old Murnane was reported missing in October, 2019 after she failed to show up for that appointment.

“At first we thought that Duffy had perhaps walked down a trail, got lost in the woods,” Robl said. “We had no idea that she had actually been abducted and taken away from us.”

This April, a caller left a detailed tip on a Crime Stoppers tip line naming Calderwood as responsible for Murnane’s death.

That person also gave an address of an unoccupied house where Calderwood allegedly said he committed the crimes and disposed of Murnane’s body.

“We had considered him as a possible suspect before then,” Robl said. “But it was really the Crime Stoppers tip that brought a whole bunch of things together for us.”

In May, after state officials said a search of Calderwood’s home in Utah turned up Murnane’s watch and a copy of Murnane’s missing-persons flier, Calderwood was arrested. 

According to a charging document against Calderwood, multiple women told police he had committed violent sexual assaults against them.

Robl said the Homer Police Department has had assistance from the Utah State Police, the Utah crime lab and from the FBI’s crime lab in Alaska throughout the investigation.

“Homer has never had a case even remotely similar to this one in the past, and I’ve been here for 35 years,” he said. “This is a very strange, unusual, unique case for the Homer Police Department. But we were able to draw on the right resources to solve the case and to present a prosecutable case to the District Attorney’s office.”

Robl said Calderwood remains in custody in Utah, where he faces other charges. Once Utah finishes prosecuting him on those charges, Robl said Calderwood will be extradited to Alaska to face the charges in Murnane’s death.

In Alaska, he faces more than 99 years if convicted.

Homer held a memorial for Murnane this June, after Calderwood was arrested. The Loved and Lost Memorial Bench at the Homer Public Library is dedicated in honor of Murnane and other missing and murdered people across Alaska.

Previous articleOpponents push back against Mat-Su school district bathroom policy
Next articleAlaska Rep. Eastman remains on ballot but could be disqualified after election