Police: Husband of Anacortes elementary teacher becomes key suspect in wife’s death

ANACORTES, Wash. — The husband of a Skagit County elementary school teacher, who was stabbed to death, is now a key suspect in his wife’s death, police said.

This is the 2nd homicide in Anacortes in the last 40 years, police said.

The last homicide was in 2022 where a person was killed from a shooting.


Anacortes Police said they found a woman’s body inside her home on J Avenue on Tuesday early evening.

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.

“It just hits home because it’s so close,” said Tom Pitts, a neighbor.

“We took the dog for a walk and we saw the (crime) tape, and it was like, oh my goodness. I remember meeting and having a nice conversation with this lady a few years ago. It kind of really hit home,” he said.

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.

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 said the body has not been recovered yet. However, planning is underway, he added, and search efforts will happen sometime next week.

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

Detectives said knives were also found at the crime scene.

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 a 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 described parts of the suspect’s vehicle.

“As I show up, there was a ton of police, state troopers, and park Rangers at the scene. When I got out, an officer told me I’m not aloud to touch the vehicle at all,” Erik Olson, manager at Anacortes Towing, wrote to KIRO 7 News.

“With this job, this is not the first fatality I’ve had to deal with, and it actually hurts that this happened to someone part of our teaching staff!” he said.


KIRO 7 News spoke with the Anacortes School District about the tragic death.

Dr. Justin Irish, superintendent of Anacortes School District, wrote in a statement,the Anacortes School District and the Anacortes community deeply mourn the tragic loss of one of our beloved elementary teachers. She was a dedicated educator whose influence will be forever treasured. The impact of this loss is felt by all of us. We are fully dedicated to supporting our students and their families and our staff as they navigate this difficult time. Grief counselors are on hand and accessible to both students and staff. And we are profoundly grateful for their expertise. Together we stand in unity to offer solace to those affected by this loss. We are a strong community and I have no doubt we will collectively honor the memory of our beloved teacher.”

Nicole Tesch, the district’s spokesperson, said flags at six schools across the school district have been lowered at half-staff to honor the beloved educator.

The district also provided three to seven school counselors, mental health professionals or social workers to support students as many are mourning.

A number of students used chalk and drew hearts on the ground outside of Island View Elementary School for Caitlin Follstad.


The Family Life Church will be holding a community grief gathering at the church Friday, beginning at 4 p.m., to honor Caitlin Follstad.

The public is invited to come.

Loved ones, including students, are expected to share personal stories and memories involving Follstad, while highlighting the impact she left on many.

Two of Follstad’s students attend the church.

We just want our church to be a place where the community can gather. To be able to grieve together. To be able to heal together,” said Brent Osburn, lead pastor of the church.

“When they (students) see the people in the room, they’re able to see there’s a community around them. That loves them, and cares for them and believes in them. Even though it’s a hard and difficult moment, that our communities are together. We are with them, and we are there to care for them,” he added. “We’re stronger together.”

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