POCATELLO — Less than 48 hours after they began investigating the murder of an elderly woman, Pocatello police say they have made multiple arrests in the case and there is no longer a threat to the public.
Police said Dustin Alfaro, 18, of Marysville, California, is one of two people who have been arrested for murdering 87-year-old Arlyne Koehler inside her Pocatello home. Police said a male juvenile from California was also arrested. His name has not yet been released.
Alfaro and the juvenile have been charged with first-degree murder and if convicted could face the death penalty.
Pocatello police announced the two arrests during a Thursday morning press conference.
Pocatello police confirmed earlier Thursday morning that Koehler was murdered inside her home at 1055 McKinley Ave. on the city's north side and multiple people were in custody for the crime.
Police said they wanted to inform the community that the arrests had been made so people knew as soon as possible that there is no longer a public safety threat related to the murder.
On Wednesday, police had encouraged Pocatello area residents to lock all their doors and windows and report any and all suspicious activity until those responsible for Koehler's murder were arrested.
During a Wednesday morning press conference, police announced that Koehler's death was being investigated as a suspected murder but they would not release further details. Police also issued an unusual warning to the public at that press conference to take precautions and report any suspicious activity because no suspects were in custody at that time.
Koehler’s neighbors said authorities told them that Koehler was stabbed to death, fought with and injured her attacker before she died, and her attacker left a blood trail from Koehler’s home to nearby Eldredge Road.
Pocatello police would not confirm nor deny the accuracy of what the neighbors said.
Police said a family member reported finding Koehler’s body at 7:39 p.m. Tuesday inside her home.
“A family member had come to the location because they had not heard from the resident,” said Maj. Roger Schei of the Pocatello Police Department. “The family member discovered that their relative was deceased and called police.”
Koehler’s McKinley Avenue home is located within a residential neighborhood near NOP Park and busy West Alameda Road.
On Wednesday afternoon, Koehler’s well-maintained home was cordoned off with police tape while police investigators continued processing evidence there. Schei said police detectives spent Wednesday collecting evidence and interviewing Koehler’s neighbors.
Police would not say when they believe Koehler was killed but they had asked residents to report any suspicious activity they saw in her neighborhood Saturday through Tuesday.
Authorities said the Pocatello police officers responsible for helping to locate the suspects in connection to Koehler's murder were the same officers who on Monday evening took a man suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder into custody after he allegedly wanted to commit suicide by cop and threatened to shoot people in Old Town Pocatello.
No one was injured during that unrelated incident but North Main Street was temporarily shut down to all traffic while police took the man into custody.
Police said it is worthy of praise that the officers who responded to that incident 24 hours later were responding to Koehler's murder and helped locate the suspects in her death.