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Kinniburgh home burglarized

by The Western News
| January 26, 2012 10:24 AM

Two curious young men who told police they “just wanted to see” inside the Dale and Catherine Kinniburgh home at 1217 Main Ave. now face burglary charges of that residence.

Matthew E. Dorland, 20, and Ryan J. McKee, 18, both of Libby are charged with burglary of the Main street residence, which on Jan. 3 was the site of a murder-suicide.

Dale Kinniburgh, 51, early that morning called police to say he had shot his wife, Catherine, 55, and then turned the gun on himself. An eight-hour standoff ensued as police, not then knowing Kinniburgh’s fate, stood ready outside.

On Jan. 8, two Kinniburgh children — Amanda Bullock and Melody Kinniburgh — were in Libby as they were settling their parents’ estate.

According to reports, the daughters discussed the burglary with Libby Police Sgt. Terry Watson at 11:53 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 8. The daughters, who were staying at the Venture Inn, agreed to meet with Watson at 2 p.m.

The daughters, who are from San Antonio, Texas, told police upon arrival that Sunday they noticed the side door to the residence open.

   Still in the process of assessing belongings, the pair noticed missing were three compound bows, a Nintendo Wii game, camping gear, a 35mm camera, firewood, Nikon binoculars and various minted coins.

   Watson advised the pair to purchase a padlock to further secure the home, which they told him they had and subsequently installed it.

   Before returning to Texas, the daughters informed Libby Patrolman Ben Amin they would be leaving the area, but planned to return.

   Police got a break in the case when one of the compound bows allegedly removed from the residence surfaced. Allegedly, one of the bows came from the Monte Lehew residence about 11 miles north of Libby on Highway 37.  Michael Lehew said he had gotten the bow from his brother, Matthew Dorland.

   On Jan. 12 Sawyer Browning met with police at the Libby Police Department. Browning told police he recognized the bow given to Lehew as one belonging to his deceased uncle, Dale Kinniburgh.

   Browning subsequently heard from Michael Lehew that McKee and Dorland allegedly had burglarized the Kinniburgh home, according to the police report.

   As Dorland was on supervised probation, Sgt. Watson, the reporting Libby Police officer, got accompaniment from Dorland’s probation officer to go to his home at 314? Colorado Ave.

   An investigation of Dorland’s residence allegedly found a box of arrows and a knife, which are considered weapons and are in violation of Dorland’s probation.

   While at the Dorland residence, police reportedly found a camcorder, a blue camera, binoculars, a video-game system and jewelry, all items similar to those removed from the Kinniburgh home.

  Dorland was subsequently arrested for violating his probation as the investigation into the Kinniburgh burglary continued.

  During an interview with Sgt. Watson, Dorland said he and McKee found the items on Haul Road and ultimately told police the items were found in an abandoned house, according to Watson’s police report.

   Responding to Watson’s inquiry as to the location of the abandoned home, Dorland responded: “The house the guy died in,” as it is written in the police report.

  According to Watson’s investigative report, the two men allegedly removed the items and carried them away from the Kinniburgh home in backpacks.

  According to Watson’s report, Dorland “admitted the camcorder, camera and binoculars were from 1217 Main Ave.”

  Watson’s detailed report of the investigation also revealed Dorland allegedly sold jewelry taken from the home at Rocky Mountain Music for $60.

   Watson’s report indicates he went to the McKee home at 501 E. Lincoln Blvd. and recovered ammunition, a rifle scope, tripod, large Bowie knife and arrows for a cross-bow.

   During Watson’s interview with “a remorseful McKee,” he was told “both (Dorland and McKee) wanted to see it (the Kinniburgh home.)”

  Dorland has been charged with felony burglary. His bail is set at $50,000. McKee also is charged with burglary. His bail is set at $10,000.

   The men, who were arrested Jan. 17, saw Judge Jay Sheffield for their initial appearance on Jan. 18. Their preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 2.

   If convicted of felony burglary, the fine could be up to $50,000 and spend up to 10 years in prison.