Mom, daughter victims of fatal shooting

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The victims of a Christmas Day double homicide west of Kalispell have been identified as a 35-year-old woman and her 15-year-old daughter by the Flathead County Sheriff's Office.

Jaimi Lynn Hurlbert was found shot dead at a home on Block Crest Court shortly after a 911 call at 2:57 p.m.

Her daughter, Alyssa Burkett, died shortly after being transported to Kalispell Regional Medical center with a bullet wound.

Tyler Michael Cheetham - also known as Tyler Miller - was found and arrested at a vacant trailer on Ashley Hills Road at about 4:30 p.m. after a pursuit by the Sheriff's Office, Kalispell Police Department and the Montana Highway Patrol.

Cheetham, 34, allegedly fled the murder scene in a Ford Explorer but later abandoned it, according to the Sheriff's Office. He then allegedly stole a pickup truck that was later found unoccupied at a gravel pit just west of Ashley Hills Road. Detectives used an OnStar vehicle security system to locate the stolen vehicle.

He was found after deputies followed footprints in the snow from the stolen vehicle to a trailer less than a mile away, Sheriff Mike Meehan said Saturday.

Law enforcement officials gathered outside the trailer before storming the home and taking Cheetham into custody without incident.

The bodies of Hurlbert and Burkett were taken to the Montana State Crime Laboratory in Missoula for forensic autopsies.

On Friday night at 11:49 p.m., Cheetham had been involved in a disturbance at the Scoreboard Pub and Casino on Woodland Park Drive, according to the Kalispell Police Department dispatch log.

He allegedly threatened to shoot Hurlbert, prompting a lockdown of the business and a search for Cheetham.

Officers were unable to locate him on Friday, but towed his vehicle from the parking lot, according to dispatch logs.

The late-night altercation was preceded by an earlier report by Hurlbert to Kalispell Police at about 3:50 p.m. Friday.

According to dispatch logs, Hurlbert reported that Cheetham was threatening to kill "her, her family her friends and himself."

Meehan said Cheetham knew the victims of the shooting, but the sheriff did not divulge the nature of the relationship.

According to friends of Hurlbert, she and Cheetham previously had been romantically involved and had an infant daughter.

Cheetham posted a series of scathing messages about Hurlbert to his profile on Facebook on Friday night, but those messages were removed and the profile had been made private Saturday.

Cheetham has a lengthy criminal history in the Flathead Valley dating back to June 1995 when he was convicted of burglary, theft and possession of dangerous drugs. For those crimes, he was sentenced to 60 months in prison by District Court Judge Ted Lympus.

In August 1998, he was convicted of criminal mischief in Flathead County District Court but received a suspended sentence.

His last conviction, according to the Montana Department of Corrections, was in August 2003, in Silver Bow County for escape. He was sentenced to a year in prison for that offense.

Saturday's double homicide is the second this year in Flathead County.

Justin Ray Calbick of Creston still is awaiting trial in Flathead County District Court on two counts of deliberate homicide after he allegedly shot and killed his father Donald Calbick and Stacy Calbick on Jan. 28.

Reporter Eric Schwartz may be reached at 758-4441 or by e-mail at eschwartz@dailyinterlake.com

 

 

 

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