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Suspected strangler told stepfather of killing, documents show

A suspected strangler sought by police told his stepfather he killed a woman before fleeing the Spokane area in a stolen car, according to court documents filed Wednesday.

Tony T. Callihan, 38, is suspected of killing 48-year-old Michelle Koenen after the pair got into a fight at what is described in those documents as a “meth party.”

Callihan’s stepfather, Kenneth Felix, called 911 after Callihan told him about the slaying, according to police.

Callihan reportedly told Felix that he shoved Koenen and then choked her, according to the search warrant affidavit filed Wednesday.

On Friday, police discovered Koenen’s partially clothed body in bed covered by a blanket in a West Central neighborhood apartment. An autopsy determined she had been strangled.

Police seized items including a cellphone, clothing and a bungee cord, according to the evidence inventory. Other items packaged as evidence included dentures, cigarette butts and clothing.

A letter found at Felix’s home was also seized, according to court documents.

Felix told detectives he was familiar with the Broadway Avenue address because he had dropped off his stepson there a week earlier. Felix said he believed Callihan had a girlfriend living there named “Michelle,” court documents show.

Police are searching for Callihan and believe he drove away in Koenen’s 2000 light greenish-gray Dodge Stratus.

Callihan visited his stepfather last Thursday night, driving what appeared to be Koenen’s car, according to records. Felix told police he chastised Callihan for driving with a suspended license.

According to court documents, Callihan told his stepfather: “Don’t worry about that; that’s the least of my worries.”

Callihan’s demeanor that night was described in court documents as nervous, fidgety and “freaking out.”

Callihan gathered some clothing, borrowed money from Felix and left in the car.

Police say Callihan was seen stealing gas from a Central Washington University maintenance truck Monday. Anyone who believes they know his whereabouts should call 911.