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A divorced father of five, Kenneth Boonstra had a job, a house and a virtually spotless criminal record.

How the 48-year-old ended up dead inside a North Bend house he’d broken into twice
in a 12-hour span is a mystery the King County Sheriff’s Office may never solve.

“Certainly there’s no pattern. It was very uncharacteristic behavior from what we’ve been told by his family,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Katie Larson.

Larson said a roll of duct tape was found inside the house in the 10100 block of 420th Avenue Southeast, and forensic tests will be conducted to determine if Boonstra brought the tape with him or if he found it somewhere in the house. Whether his motive was to commit a second robbery or something else is “speculative at this point,” she said.

Boonstra, who was identified Tuesday by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office as the intruder killed early Monday, died from multiple stab wounds. Public and court records indicate Boonstra lived in North Bend for most of his life. Efforts to reach his family on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Larson did not know where Boonstra worked but said he “was gainfully employed” and had a house in North Bend a couple of miles from the house where he died.

Aside from a handful of traffic citations, Boonstra was charged with being a minor in possession of alcohol in 1985, according to court records. Last year, he was charged with third-degree theft in Issaquah Municipal Court, but the charge was dismissed as part of a plea deal, the records show.

Boonstra was married for 19 years before filing for divorce in Pierce County in 2007, marriage and court records show.

While the Sheriff’s Office is confident Boonstra is the man who committed a home-invasion robbery at the same house on Sunday afternoon, they are awaiting the results of DNA testing for confirmation, Larson said.

In that incident, an intruder entered the house through an unlocked back door just after 1 p.m. Sunday, grabbed a 26-year-old woman by her ponytail and demanded cash. The woman was in the home with her mother and 7-month-old daughter at the time.

After he got a small amount of money, the intruder hit the younger woman so hard that his baseball cap flew off and he fled without retrieving it, Larson said.

It’s hoped that DNA found inside the cap will confirm Boonstra was responsible for the Sunday home-invasion robbery, she said. It’ll likely be weeks before the DNA results are known.

Around 2 a.m. Monday, the 26-year-old woman and her husband were awakened when their dogs started barking. Because of the earlier home-invasion, Larson said the husband armed himself with a baseball bat and a can of wasp spray before heading down the stairs.

Boonstra attacked the 29-year-old man in the front entry way of the house, she said. The husband sprayed the wasp spray at Boonstra but it had no effect and the baseball bat broke during the struggle, Larson said.

“This was truly a fight for their lives. And it went on for an extended period of time,” she said.

At some point, “the husband was having trouble controlling the suspect and called out to his wife,” Larson said. That’s when the woman ran to the kitchen and retrieved a knife, fatally stabbing Boonstra.

“The family is very traumatized. This was a hugely traumatic incident in their lives,” said Larson. “It was a helluva fight.”

Seattle Times news researcher Miyoko Wolf contributed to this report.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or