Kristy Ohnstad Murder – Kristy Ohnstad vanished from her residence near Bellingham in Washington State, leaving her family and friends anxiously awaiting her safe return. But just when they thought things couldn’t get any worse, the police made an alarming discovery days later: her disfigured body had been found near Lake Samish. Join us as we uncover this chilling story of a heinous murder and its relentless investigation that eventually led to the capture of its perpetrator on Investigation Discovery’s series ‘Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death’ Season 5 Episode 03, “The Evil Twin.” Together, let us reveal the grim details and uncover the truth.
Kristy Ohnstad Murder Story: Investigation & Arrest
Kristy Ohnstad, aged 14, was murdered in her Washington State hometown of Bellingham by someone acting out of sheer anger and hatred. Living with her mother, Sue Ohnstad, Kristy was quite popular among her group of friends. According to those who knew her, she enjoyed all typical teenage activities while cherishing time spent with friends, something which was not overlooked by teachers who noted Kristy’s ambition for future endeavors. Tragedy struck in the form of an act of violence driven solely by anger, ending her young life forever.
Kristy vanished on her way home from school on April 17, 1995. Sue, Kristy’s distraught mother, immediately reported her as missing to the authorities, and search parties were organized to search local areas for signs of the missing girl. While walking near Bellingham’s Samish Way, Willie Golightly made an unexpected discovery: an abandoned backpack that may hold key clues to solving this case. Tune in on April 18 to discover more about Willie’s find!
Willie made an urgent phone call to Sue. Upon hearing that Kristy had disappeared, Sue immediately recognized the bag as belonging to Kristy and contacted the authorities to follow up on this lead. Several interviews took place with Kristy’s friends and acquaintances, but unfortunately, none could provide any leads regarding the whereabouts of the 14-year-old girl who had vanished without a trace. As time progressed, Sue became more fearful but held onto the hope of seeing her daughter return safely home. Finally, on April 21, officers discovered a female corpse near Lake Samish.
As we pan over the crime scene, we see the victim’s partially undressed body, confirming that her killer used a heavy object, possibly a sledgehammer, to strike her head with blunt force trauma. Shockingly, DNA evidence identified these remains as belonging to Kristy Ohnstad. Her autopsy report detailed horrific acts such as brutal rape, strangling, and blunt force trauma to her head. Additionally, authorities discovered metal spikes protruding from her ears as evidence of intrusion by her killer before the fatal strike.
Sue Ohnstad was romantically involved with Clark Elmore, an inhabitant of Bellingham who she believed to be Kristy’s stepfather. However, according to reports, Clark abused Kristy since she was young. It has been revealed that Clark subjected Kristy to abuse since they first met as children. Clark had planned to come forward and report himself to the authorities; however, as the plot thickened, he took matters into his own hands and visited Willie Golightly directly for Kristy’s backpack. It caught their attention immediately. However, they were taken aback when Clark took matters into his own hands by visiting Willie and demanding it. In an unexpected turn of events, Willie revealed that Clark, under the pretense of being Kristy’s stepfather, repeatedly demanded her backpack until the police arrived. When the police did arrive, they did not find any cause to suspect Clark, and he was free to leave without facing charges.
Next, police officers conducted a detailed examination of Clark’s van but found no signs of Kristy. As the suspect was distraught over their daughter’s disappearance, multiple search parties were organized to locate her. Clark’s honest demeanor convinced Sue of his genuine care for her, leading her to keep him up-to-date on the investigation’s progress. However, when Kristy Ohnstad’s lifeless body was discovered on April 21, the police considered Clark as a suspect and kept him out of the loop. In an extraordinary turn of events he managed to get wind of this and quickly flew back home, citing some urgent business. Sue soon left him behind while making excuses about having urgent errands.
As Clark remained missing, the police persisted with their investigation and made a significant discovery: two specks of paint found on Kristy were identified as a match to the paint on one of Clark’s toolboxes. This compelling evidence directly implicated Clark in Kristy’s murder. With this evidence in hand, authorities obtained an arrest warrant and initiated a nationwide search. However, six days after the crime occurred, Clark made a sudden and dramatic decision to reverse course and return home, surrendering himself to the authorities. Consequently, he was promptly arrested and charged with her murder.
Where is Kristy Ohnstad’s Killer Clark Elmore Now?
Clark Elmore pleaded guilty in a dramatic courtroom scene to first-degree aggravated murder in 1996 and was swiftly sentenced to death by Judge Frank LaRue. Once he was convicted, Clark attempted to overturn his conviction through various legal petitions; however, these petitions were often denied. Finally, all available appeals had been exhausted, leaving no choice but to wait for execution day to arrive. However, fate had other plans. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee issued a stay on all death sentences in 2014 due to their inconsistency and financial strain on the state. Clark was removed from death row in 2018, though he still remains incarcerated at Walla Walla Prison in Washington State.