Joseph Duncan, a serial killer who terrorized northern Idaho nearly two decades ago, has died on federal death row in Indiana.
According to KXLY, Duncan, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, died early Saturday at a hospital in Indiana after being taken out of the federal prison in Terre Haute.
Duncan, a 58-year-old from Tacoma, received a federal death sentence in 2005 shortly after he killed several members of a family in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in order to kidnap a brother and sister he had seen while driving by the family’s home. He held the kids in Montana for several weeks before he killed the boy and returned the girl to a restaurant in Coeur d’Alene.
After he was arrested, his DNA was linked to the kidnapping and killing of a California boy in 1997. Although he was never charged in the case, authorities have said Duncan also confessed to the slayings of Carmen Cubias, 9 and her half sister Sammiejo White, 11. The girls were abducted from Seattle in July 1996, and their remains were found in an empty field in Bothell in February 1998.
“The sun is a little brighter today,” Diana Martinez, the mother of one of the victims, said. “My soul is lighter. The world is a more beautiful place without the evil that is Joseph Duncan. God chose to make his end a long suffering and I believe that is fitting. The horror of his thoughts consumed him.”
In 2019, Duncan lost his last appeal of his death sentences.
The Seattle Times contributed to this report.