Details of Disappearance
Murnane was last seen in Homer, Alaska on October 17, 2019. She lived in Main Tree Supportive Living Facility, a supported housing complex near Main Street and Lee Street. She was last seen leaving the facility at 12:13 p.m., en route to a 1:00 appointment at the SVT Health & Wellness clinic on east End Road. The clinic was a mile away.
She never arrived and has never been heard from again. Search dogs tracked her scent to Pioneer Avenue near Cosmic Kitchen downtown, where she may have been picked up in a vehicle.
Murnane had recently moved back home to Alaska after teaching at schools in Honduras, Alaska and in Seattle, Washington. She had gotten stable on her medication for bipolar disorder and seemed to be doing well. She had not indicated she was suicidal or that she was thinking of leaving on her own. Murnane didn't drive and would walk to where she wanted to go.
Since she went missing she has not used her credit card or phone, followed up on any of the job applications she'd made, or used the airline tickets she'd purchased for planned trips to Oregon and Mexico.
In July 2021, almost two years after Murnane's disappearance, a certificate of presumptive death was issued for her. The court determined she'd been the victim of a homicide.
The case got a break in April 2022, when an anonymous tipster named Kirby Foleni Calderwood as the person responsible for Murnane's disappearance. He had long been a person of interest in the investigation, but this fact had not been made public. The tipster knew facts about the case that had not been publicized, and said Calderwood still had Murnane's watch.
Calderwood worked at South Peninsula Behavioral Health Services as a direct service provider caring for mentally and medically vulnerable individuals. He admitted he knew Murnane and had worked at the supportive living facility where she lived. According to authorities, multiple women who had dated Calderwood said he violently raped and abused them.
Police searched his Ogden, Utah home in May and found a missing persons flier for Murnane and a watch that closely resembled hers. When they interviewed Calderwood's wife, she admitted she'd sent the anonymous tip and said Calderwood had confessed the murder to her in 2021.
According to the alleged confession, Calderwood had pre-prepared a crawlspace in his girlfriends' parents' house to be a torture site. He had not specifically intended to kill Murnane, but was driving around looking for a victim when he saw her. He offered her a ride to her destination, saying he had to stop somewhere first to get a phone charger.
He then took Murnane to his girlfriends' parents' home, pushed her into the crawlspace, and raped and killed her. He reportedly disposed of her body by wrapping it in thick plastic trash bags, putting it in a fish tote and leaving it in a dumpster.
In May 2022, Calderwood was charged with kidnapping, first- and second-degree murder, and tampering with physical evidence in Murnane's case. A photo of him is posted with this case summary. He is awaiting trial.
Murnane's body has not been found, but foul play is suspected in her case due to the circumstances involved.