The Marin County Sheriff's Office on Thursday said detectives had recovered the weapon used to kill a popular tantra teacher, shot to death this week while hiking with his Doberman pinscher in Fairfax.
At a news conference, Lt. Doug Pittman said the three suspects arrested Wednesday in Portland, Oregon in the death of Steve Carter, 67, may not be brought back to Marin County to face charges until "sometime next week."
Detectives on Thursday were still interviewing the trio: Sean Michael Angold, 24, Morrison Haze Lampley, 23, and Lila Scott Allgood, 18, none of whom have a permanent address. He said the background of the suspects is "still kind of a blur," because none have formal ID, like a driver's licenses. He would not identify any of the suspects as a "tweaker" when prompted by a reporter, but did describe them as "three lost souls."
According to the Multnoma County Sheriff's Office, Lampley has a string of priors that include weapons and marijuana possession, buying alcohol for minors, criminal mischief and graffiti tagging.
Santa Clara County court records show Lampley in 2011 was arrested for carrying a concealed knife in Saratoga. Lampley in the incident told police he was homeless and was using the knife for protection, according to court records.
The other two had no record in that county, a records spokeswoman told NBC Bay Area.
He said the three have been cooperating at "varying levels."
Pittman described the weapon as a handgun, but he wouldn't say where it was found or how the suspects obtained it. He only said it was similar to the caliber detectives had been looking for.
"It's safe to say the gun that was recovered during the arrest yesterday was one that we were looking for, specifically, as to caliber," Pittman said.
After detailing some of the new evidence, Pittman paused to describe how the violent homicide has taken a toll on the normally quiet, affluent community. "I"m shocked," he said, adding that he had no words to express himself. "It's unimaginable why this would happen to such good people."
Carter's Jetta had been parked near where he had been hiking on Monday, when his body was found about 6 p.m. with his dog on a trail off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in the Loma Alta Open Space Reserve in Fairfax. His dog had been shot, too, but the pet survived but is still in "critical condition," Pittman said.
Also, Pittman announced at the news conference that Carter's wallet had been discovered by a citizen who called it in to authorities.
Despite the arrests, a motive behind the death of Carter - a beloved teacher of "tantric ecstacy" has not yet been revealed. Questions also remain about how the three came to be in Marin County and whether they knew Carter prior to the slaying, Pittman said.
Meanwhile, a shrine has been created on the trail where Carter was gunned down to say good-bye to a man most described as open and loving.
Carter had recently moved from Costa Rica to Marin County, where he was taking care of his cancer-stricken wife, Lokita Carter.
Both Carters launched the Ecstatic Living Institute in Middletown about 16 years ago to teach tantra to couples around the world. They held workshops nearby at the clothing-optional Harbin Hot Springs, which was destroyed last month in the Valley Fire wildfire.
Lokita Carter didn't respond to requests for comment. Her GoFundMe page as of Thursday morning had reached $45,700 - more than double what it was the day before. On it, she thanked everyone for their "outpouring of love, support and messages."
"I am beyond words," she wrote. " And it is only the knowledge how much you all love Steve, and me, that keeps me going at this extremely difficult time."
NBC Bay Area's Pete Suratos, Tim Bollinger, KGW in Portland and the Associated Press contributed to this report.