San Juan murder suspect arrested after standoff; he had self-inflicted stab wounds

Whatcom County Sheriff's Office released this wanted poster for Eric Kulp, suspected of killing his wife in San Juan County.
Whatcom County Sheriff's Office released this wanted poster for Eric Kulp, suspected of killing his wife in San Juan County. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

A man wanted in connection with a homicide in San Juan County was captured late Friday afternoon after a brief standoff with police, who found him with several self-inflicted knife wounds.

Several law enforcement agencies have been searching for a week for Eric Arthur Kulp, 44, of Shaw Island. Kulp was wanted on a second-degree murder charge for the death of his wife, Abigail Finney, 38, according to the San Juan County Sheriff's Office. Her body was found on Shaw Island April 5.

Kulp was arrested by Skagit and Whatcom county sheriff's deputies near Marblemount around 4:15 p.m. Friday. After a brief standoff, Kulp was taken into custody and had multiple self-inflicted knife wounds, according to officials. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Kulp's condition is unknown at this time.

The San Juan County coroner, as well as an out-of-county medical examiner, have yet to determine a cause or manner of death for Finney, according to San Juan County Sheriff Ron Krebs.

Kulp was in Bellingham Saturday, April 7, and traveled to Glacier later that day. A deputy with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office had stopped Kulp when he saw him walking east in the 6700 block of Mt. Baker Highway.

eric kulp wanted
Eric Kulp Whatcom County Sheriff's Office Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

When the deputy checked a law-enforcement database to see whether Kulp had any outstanding warrants, however, there was no information indicating Kulp was wanted or being sought in connection to a crime.

The deputy later learned the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office was in the process of establishing probable cause for a murder charge, officials said.

Local residents also claimed to have seen Kulp on Sunday, April 8, and again Thursday, the sheriff's office said.

A Glacier resident told Whatcom sheriff’s deputies they saw Kulp on Glacier Creek Road in the area of Mt. Baker Rim, a private community with cabin rentals. A large search response involving deputies, canine units and a helicopter checked the foothills area Thursday, but Kulp wasn’t found.

Deputies also distributed flyers to local businesses with Kulp’s photo.

Denver Pratt: 360-715-2236, @DenverPratt