Man Freed; He's Still Of Interest In Death Of Bonney Lake Woman

TACOMA - A man who took a Bonney Lake woman's car is out of jail, but remains under investigation in her slaying and the disappearance of her 14-year-old son, authorities said.

Martin S. Malcolm, 41, was arrested on a theft charge March 3, the day after the body of 53-year-old Susan Klungness was found inside her mobile home. She had been beaten to death.

Malcolm initially pleaded innocent to the theft charge, but changed his plea to the lesser felony of taking Klungness' car without permission. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail, with credit for 39 days served, Pierce County deputy prosecutor Dennis Ashman said.

Malcolm, a family friend of the Klungnesses, was released Thursday.

Malcolm is still considered "a firm person of interest" in the killing of Klungness and the disappearance of her son Jeffrey, Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Curt Benson said yesterday.

At the advice of his attorney, Malcolm hasn't spoken to investigators since the night he turned himself in, Benson said.

Deputies and search-and-rescue personnel hunted for Jeffrey Klungness until March 10, but had no success. "We believe he may very well be a victim himself," Benson said.