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Prominent Therapist Shot Dead, Dog Injured On Marin Trail; 2 Sought

UPDATE, 2:11 p.m.: Three suspects have been arrested in related to this case. The Marin County Sheriff's Office is holding a press conference at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Watch it live here.

FAIRFAX (CBS SF) -- A prominent therapist from a town ravaged in the Valley Fire was found shot to death and his dog wounded by gunfire along a popular hiking spot in Marin County, according to authorities.

The Marin County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as 67-year-old Steven Philip Carter, who along with his wife Lokita Carter taught tantric massage and offered massage workshops at Harbin Hot Springs, which burned down in the Valley Fire.

The Carters were widely renowned, producing instructional DVDs and offering training sessions throughout the U.S. and in Central America.

Lokita and Steve Carter
Lokita and Steve Carter (

Steve Carter is an American citizen from Costa Rica. According to one of his wife's web postings, the couple had moved from Lake County to Costa Rica late last year.  Lokita Carter had moved back to California after contracting cancer and was receiving treatment in Marin County. Steve Carter had just recently moved back to join her.

Steve Carter was found 6 p.m. Monday evening on a Gunsight Fire Road trail near Fairfax, according to the Marin County Sheriff's Office. The trail is on the north side of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near the Loma Alta preserve and Whites Hills.

The sheriff's office said Carter's car is missing. The vehicle is a 2003 silver Volkswagen Jetta hatchback with the license plate number 6PPG662.

"Persons associated with this vehicle as far we're concerned should be considered armed and dangerous," said sheriff's Lt. Doug Pittman.

DMV records confirm the car is registered to Lokita Carter of Middletown, recently ravaged by the deadly Valley Fire.

surveillance images of two persons of interest in the murder of Steve Clark
Surveillance images of two persons of interest in the murder of Steve Clark (Marin County Sheriff's Office)

The sheriff's department released a surveillance video from a nearby convenience store, showing two people - a man and a woman - who detectives describe as "persons of interest." One other person may have been with them, but is not pictured in the video.

"I've heard that he was murdered, but I haven't heard anything other than that," Stever Carter's brother Michael Carter told the San Francisco Chronicle, adding that he knew of no one who disliked his brother. "I can't imagine that it's anything other than a random thing. All of it seems very random and unbelievable. Nothing makes any sense."

On Lokita Carter's website, she has a photo of Steve and a Doberman Pinscher, which may be the one found shot and injured at the scene.

Officials said the Carter had been shot multiple times.

A GoFundMe page set up in June to help pay for Lokita's cancer treatment featured an update Wednesday morning with the news of Steve's death.


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