Wash. murder suspect laid low at NE Portland bar

David Kalac has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his girlfriend

Patrons at The Know bar in NE Portland said they were blown away to learn that a man who drank there Wednesday was murder suspect David Kalac, Nov. 7, 2014. (KOIN 6/Clackamas County Sheriff's Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Patrons at a Northeast Portland bar said they were blown away to learn that a man they shared drinks with on Wednesday was wanted for murdering his girlfriend in Washington state.

Hours earlier, Portland police had pursued David Michael Kalac, who was wanted for allegedly beating and strangling his girlfriend 30-year-old Amber Lynn Coplin, to death, in a chase across the Ross Island Bridge and onto SW Barbur Boulevard.

Wilsonville police tweeted out this photo of Washington murder suspect David Kalac moments after he turned himself in, Nov. 5, 2014. (Wilsonville Police Department/Twitter)
Wilsonville police tweeted out this photo of Washington murder suspect David Kalac moments after he turned himself in, Nov. 5, 2014. (Wilsonville Police Department/Twitter)

Police said they were forced to end the chase when Kalac began swerving into oncoming traffic and was last seen headed south past Taylors Ferry Road.

Maryanne Ludlow told KOIN 6 that she had no idea the man drinking beer next to her for hours at The Know bar on Wednesday was murder suspect Kalac.

“He seemed laid back like anybody else here,” she said.

Ludlow said Kalac even talked to her about Coplin, who he allegedly killed hours earlier in Port Orchard, as if she was still alive. She said he told her he was on his way to California to pick up his mom and bring her back to the Seattle area.

“[I said,] ‘That’s really awesome of you to pick up your mom. Your girlfriend must be happy.’ He said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t know what I am going to say to her,’” said Ludlow.

In court on Friday, 33-year-old Kalac faced a judge. He’s charged with first-degree murder.

KIRO TV reporter Alison Grande said court documents showed Kalac wrote a note confessing to the murder, and left the note in the woods in Clackamas County.

After killing Coplin, authorities said Kalac posted graphic pictures of Coplin’s nude body on the website 4chan.

“He talked about how everybody is nice and how nice Portland is. He didn’t lead on that he killed somebody hours before,” said The Know bar owner Ryan Stowe.

Kalac was taken into custody in Wilsonville late Wednesday evening after he turned himself in to a deputy following a lengthy search for him in the Portland metro area.

He was ordered held on $2 million bond Friday afternoon.

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