A woman and her boyfriend were arrested in Pacific County this week for the investigation of murder after police said a 911 call about a kidnapping and the death of the woman’s grandmother didn’t add up.
Chief Criminal Deputy Pat Matlock tells us that on November 12th at about 7:24 AM, the Pacific County Communications Center received a 911 call from a female who stated that she and her children had been kidnapped at knifepoint from her residence located in the 1900 block of 196th street by an unknown male. The woman said that the suspect forced his way into her home and obtained her firearm, then she and her children were forced into her vehicle by the kidnapper. The woman said that the suspected kidnapper went back into her residence and shortly after she heard two gun shots. The suspected kidnapper emerged from the residence and drove her and her three children to Loomis Lake State Park, according to the woman. The woman, later identified as Katherine J. Chace, stated that the suspected kidnapper then tossed her car keys into the bushes and disappeared into the woods with her gun. After the suspected kidnapper disappeared, she called 911.
Deputies and officers from several agencies responded to Chace’s location. After gathering further information from Chace, deputies responded to her residence on 196th street. Deputies entered the residence and located a deceased female that appeared to have been shot, in an upstairs bedroom. Deputies noticed spent bullet casings in the room as well. The scene was secured for further crime scene investigation.
Deputies began to question Chace to establish a timeline and searched the area that the suspected kidnapper had apparently fled to. The area was searched with multiple K-9’s. No suspect was located. It became apparent to investigators that Chace’s story and timeline of events were not adding up. Chace and her children were interviewed. As a result of those interviews and evidence examined pertaining to the scene, it became clear that no kidnapping had occurred. Further interviews with Chace revealed that her boyfriend and the father of her children may have been in the area as well.
Chace revealed other information during interviews that implicated her as being involved but not fully responsible for the murder of her grandmother, 64-year-old Paula J. Rice. Chace was placed under arrest and transported to the Pacific County Jail. Upon arriving at the jail, Chace asked to speak with the investigating detective again. Chace admitted to shooting her grandmother as she slept in her bed. Chace admitted that she fabricated the kidnapping story in an attempt to cover up the murder.
Chace stated that she and her boyfriend, later identified as Paul D. Rankin, age 25 had planned for a month or more to kill her grandmother and father who resided in the house. Chace stated that after she killed her grandmother, she became distraught and couldn’t kill her father. Chace also stated that she threw the gun that she used in the dune grass at Loomis Lake State Park, prior to her initially calling to report the alleged kidnapping. Chace described in detail to the detective where to look for the weapon.
Chace stated that Rankin had traveled from Alaska to the Long Beach area about a week or two prior. Chace said that Rankin was camping in the forest around Loomis Lake State Park. On November 12th during the evening, Rankin was located and identified. Rankin was interviewed and subsequently arrested on November 13th.
Also on November 13th, at about 1000 AM, investigators located a weapon matching the description and caliber of the suspected murder weapon in the dune grass at Loomis Lake State Park in the area that Chace described. The weapon was confirmed as being registered to Katherine Chace. Both Chace and Rankin are being held at the Pacific County Jail for charges of Murder in the first degree. Both have bail set at one million dollars apiece. The investigation is still active and ongoing.