COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – The Kootenai County woman found dead in her car was a single mother of five, according to a GoFundMe site set up to help pay for her funeral expenses.
Kelly Pease, 37, was found with a gunshot wound to the head in the Kootenai Health parking lot.
North Idaho College representatives confirmed Pease was a nursing student there. NIC President Rick MacLennan released the following statement:
It is with great sadness that I share the news of the death of one of our students. Information about yesterday's tragic and public death of Kelly Pease that occurred on the Kootenai Health campus has already touched many of our students and faculty, especially within the Nursing and Science divisions. Several of our students and staff were on the Kootenai Health campus when yesterday's events unfolded.
NIC is a very close knit family and the loss of Kelly who had dedicated herself to the nursing profession to care and provide comfort for others is devastating. I ask that you look out for one another during this time of loss.
Our NIC Crisis Response Unit has been activated. This team consists of skilled, trained, and kindhearted people who assemble to respond during times of trauma and need at NIC. The CRU is available for students or employees experiencing grief from this news. If you need assistance or know of someone needing support, please contact Tim Gerlitz at (208) 769-7794 or email@example.com.
KREM 2 spoke to four of her children on Thursday. They said their mother was truly the family matriarch.
"She was the absolute glue of our family," said one of her children.
Pease moved to Coeur d'Alene from Montana some years ago. For the last 10 years, she was a certified nurse's assistant. She was at Kootenai Health on Wednesday as part of her clinical rotations to become a nurse. The money she made as a nurse would help fund her dream of buying a farm.
"She was going to have a farm full of horses, chickens. It was her number one dream, was a cabin," said her daughter Carmen Pease.
The Pease children said their mother was loved by many and they have been overwhelmed with the amount of support they have received over the last day. There was something else they wanted to make clear: Kelly was a victim of domestic violence. They want everyone to take their mother's death to heart.
"Even if you don't know if it's actually abuse, talk to somebody. Find out. Get help. Because it is an epidemic and it's bad," said her daughter Gabby Pease.
Pease's two oldest daughters asked that any kind of questions about memorial services, donations, fundraisers, go through them. They are asking to be the spokespeople for her large family. KREM 2 will respect that request, and bring you any updates they release.
Steven Denson, 61, wanted in connection to Pease's death was found dead on Thursday. According to court documents, Denson and Pease were engaged.
Denson was currently wanted on murder charges and was considered armed and dangerous. He was six feet tall and weighed 225 pounds with grey hair and hazel eyes. Denson was last seen driving a 2000 white Nissan Pathfinder with Washington State license plate AVA9015.