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Possible homicide victim is mother of five

UPDATED: Mon., Dec. 5, 2011, 6:26 p.m.

A Deer Park woman found dead in her home Saturday has been identified as Chanin Starbuck, 42.

Family members confirmed Starbuck’s identity today.

Spokane County sheriff’s detectives are investigating her death as a homicide but have not released her cause of death. No one has been arrested.

Deputies found Starbuck dead in her rental home at 509 N. Reiper St. in Deer Park about 8:30 a.m. after someone called 911 concerned about uncollected mail and packages at the home.

Starbuck is a recently divorced mother of five children between the ages of 10 and 21.

Starbuck showed no obvious signs of trauma, but Lt. Steve Barbieri said detectives are investigating her death as a homicide because of other suspicious circumstances he declined to detail.

They’re still awaiting autopsy results from the Medical Examiner’s Office, Barbieri said.

“There’s enough oddities that we want to wait for the medical examiner to comeback and give us cause and death and manner,” Barbieri said. “(The autopsy) could still come back saying it was accidental or it was natural.”

Starbuck’s ex-husband, Clay Starbuck, talked to detectives today and has not been ruled a suspect, Barbieri said.

According to court documents, Clay Starbuck worked in the oil fields in Valdez, Alaska, where the couple remarried in 2006 after divorcing in Benton County, Wash., in 2000. They moved to Deer Park in May 2008.

Reached by phone, Clay Starbuck declined to comment.

“Our family’s busy and tied up with this. We don’t have anything to say,” he said.

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