Former NFL player is a suspect in a Utah killing, ‘but this story should be about her’

(Photo courtesy of the Gauf family) Keri "KC" McClanahan

A former NFL player has been named as a suspect in the Thursday slaying of his wife in Park City.

Park City police said Friday that 28-year-old Keri “KC” McClanahan — the wife of Anthony Darnel McClanahan — had been found dead in the Park Regency Resort condominiums, 1710 Prospector Avenue, on Thursday.

Police said the victim had knife wounds to her throat and identified her 46-year-old husband as the primary suspect.

There had been a history of domestic violence in the relationship, Keri McClanahan’s sister Heather Gauf said.

Since Keri and Anthony McClanahan’s marriage in January, Keri McClanahan had fled from him a couple of times, her sister said. On one occasion, she returned to her home state of Washington, where her family lives, but later returned to the home she shared with Anthony McClanahan in Arizona, Gauf said. Recently, Keri McClanahan had “sought refuge” in Utah, the sister said.

Anthony McClanahan

Gauf said Anthony McClanahan tried to blame his behavior on injuries he’d suffered while playing football.

Keri McClanahan leaves behind a 9-year-old daughter and a 7-year-old son, Gauf said; neither is Anthony McClanahan’s child.

“She was such an amazing mother and such a beautiful humanitarian,” Gauf said, adding that she‘s concerned that “this is going to deeply affect my little niece and nephew, to know that their mother was murdered.”

Keri McClanahan had a passion for helping people and animals, Gauf said. She recently spent time in Texas and Florida, volunteering to help those affected by hurricanes.

(Photo courtesy of the Gauf family) Keri "KC" McClanahan

(Photo courtesy of the Gauf family) Keri "KC" McClanahan

She had a “beautiful spirit,” Gauf said. “She was instantly loved by people.” Gauf hopes her sister‘s legacy won’t be lost in the hype over Anthony McClanahan’s former NFL career.

“This story should be about her,” Gauf said. “Everything was about him.”

Police found Keri McClanahan’s body after someone flagged down a patrol sergeant for help, Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter said at a Thursday news conference.

Someone from the hotel called police shortly after the officer was flagged down to report a “ruckus” in the room.

Homicide charges have not been filed against Anthony McClanahan, who played for the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s. Police said the case will be screened by the Summit County Attorney’s Office early next week.

Gauf plans to be in Utah for every court hearing on the case, she said.

Meanwhile, Anthony McClanahan, of Bellingham, Wash., was charged Friday in an unrelated child kidnapping in Utah’s 3rd District Court.

The first-degree felony child kidnapping case involves Anthony McClanahan’s 8-year-old son, whom he took from school property in Maricopa County, Ariz., on Oct. 3, according to charges.

The boy’s mother — who is not married to Anthony McClanahan — had dropped her son at the school, but was later made aware that the boy left with his father, charges state.

On Oct. 4, the boy’s mother located Anthony McClanahan in Las Vegas and with police assistance request the return of her son, but the man refused, charges state.

On Oct. 5, the woman obtained an emergency court order, and on Oct. 7 provided it to Anthony McClanahan during an email exchange, but McClanahan again refused, charges state. The boy’s mother was unaware of the father’s whereabouts at the time of the email exchange.

Anthony McClanahan posted two videos and two photos of himself and his son in Salt Lake City on Oct 5. In one video, he and his son are giving bread and water to homeless people in Pioneer Park. In the video, he mentions that he and his son were in the city to audition for a commercial.

He also published a Facebook post Oct. 8 that said: “Looking for a really good family lawyer in Phoenix Arizona immediately this morning. Personal phone numbers only guys. help us out.”

On Oct. 12, Anthony McClanahan was located in Salt Lake City, where he was arrested on a fugitive warrant in the Maricopa County case, and the 8-year-old was returned to his mother, charges say.

On Oct. 19, Anthony McClanahan was in the Salt Lake County jail awaiting extradition to Arizona when he posted the $150,000 bail and was released.

Charges in the child kidnapping case ask that a no bail warrant be issued for Anthony McClanahan, noting that he is a suspect in the Park City homicide, and that he is believed to be a flight risk and a danger to the community.