Crews expected to search for body police believe belongs to suspect who killed Anacortes teacher

ANACORTES, Wash. — Anacortes police said crews will begin searching for the body that they believe belongs to a suspect who killed his wife, a 5th grade teacher, in Anacortes.

Police told KIRO 7 News that they believe crews will begin the search as early as Tuesday near the Deception Pass Bridge, where a body was reportedly spotted in the water last week.

We asked police which agencies will be involved in the search. We are still waiting to hear back.

KIRO 7 News also asked why the search for the reported body is taking nearly a week to begin.

“I think it has to do with getting people to staff that up. The search and rescue people are mostly volunteers. I think it’s getting that group together and coordinating and making it happen,” said Brent Lindquist, public information officer for the Anacortes Police Department.


The expected search comes nearly a week after Anacortes police said they found a woman’s body inside her home on J Avenue on the evening of April 9.

The body was later identified as 41-year-old Caitlin Follstad, a 5th-grade teacher at Island View Elementary, which is down the street from where her body was found.

Police said Washington State troopers found a 2014 black Toyota Camry, which is registered to Kevin Follstad, the victim’s husband, on the center island of the Deception Pass Bridge, on the same day his wife’s body was found.

Multiple agencies later received a call about a body that was spotted in the water, near the bridge, police said.

KIRO 7 News spoke with Erik Olson, who towed the suspect’s vehicle from the bridge to the police department, after receiving a call from dispatch.

He shared a photo capturing part of a document he had received from police, which describes parts of the suspect’s vehicle.

Police also received a call from the suspect’s father, who believed his son was suicidal.

“His son who happens to be the husband of the deceased, that’s going to be 41-year-old Kevin Follstad, was possibly suicidal and was driving to the Deception Pass Bridge,” said Brent Lindquist, public information officer for the Anacortes Police Department.

Lindquist told KIRO 7 News that efforts to find the reported body will begin this week, however, he did not confirm the exact day and time.

“We believe that was Kevin Follstad,” he said.

Lindquist said officers received a call about Kevin Follstad’s mental health last month.

However, his behavior did not reach a level for him to be evaluated and receive treatment, he said.

Follstad also declined to speak with medical professionals as well, Lindquist added.


KIRO 7 News spoke with Megan Wylie, the victim’s cousin, who said she will now care for Follstad’s three children she left behind, a two-year-old boy, a four-year-old girl and a seven-year-old girl.

“Broken, overall broken. She deserved so much better than that. She deserved to see her kids grow up,” said Wylie. “Heartbreak. Absolute heartbreak. Heartbreak for everybody.”

“We were supposed to grow old, complain about our kids, sit and talk over coffee when we’re old. We don’t get that anymore,” she added.

Wylie said last Tuesday’s incident caught her off guard since she did not see any possible warning signs in the past.

“The Kevin I knew was not this person. He was not this person. He was a good father, a kind man. I never observed him being angry, or irritated, or annoyed or anything. Never raised his voice. Never showed signs of aggressiveness,” she shared.

Wylie does not fully blame Kevin Follstad for her cousin’s death, she said, and puts some of the blame on the mental health industry and its lack of resources.

“When you seek help and the people don’t listen, this is what happens,” she said. “If you seek help, and beg, and again, this is what happens because they’re not listening. The mental health professionals, they’re doing the best that they can, but the system, is such, they’re not being supported. There’s not enough resources for them to do what they need to do.”

KIRO 7 News asked Wylie about Kevin’s reported mental health incident last month where officers said they had responded to and said Kevin Follstad declined to talk with medical professionals.

“The stigma is what prevented him from getting help,” she said. “The stigma. Who wants to be labeled as crazy. He’s seeking help, but he also doesn’t want to get his reputation ruined. So, there’s that tear inside you. You want help. You know you need help, but you don’t want everybody to know you need help, and you’re getting help.”

Wylie said new laws and more resources within the mental health space could possibly save future lives and prevent other families from suffering.

“Other than putting legislature out that completely reforms the entire mental health system, that is really the only justice we can get,” she said.

When asked about Caitlin Follstad, Wylie described her cousin as someone who was very passionate about children as she often focused on her three children and her students at Island View Elementary.

A few years ago, Wylie promised her cousin that she would take care of her children if she ever passed away.

Wylie said she intends to keep that sacred promise.

“They (children) deserve to have their own mother, not their aunty. They deserve their own mother. I’ll do the best I can,” she said. “I love them because they’re great kids. They’re sweet kids. They’re my family. My cousin would do it for me.”

“She focused attention where attention was needed. She gave the kids (students) confidence and love and safety where a lot of times there’s not any. In general, she was a wonderfully dedicated teacher and a great family member, and she loved her family and her students,” she told KIRO 7 News.

A GoFundMe was created to help the children following the death of their mother. If you’d like to help, please click here.

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