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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Death

Do you know this woman? Medical examiners need help identifying her next of kin.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the identity of the second individual killed in a mobile home fire early Monday morning, but need help contacting her family.

Robert “Amanda” Blanchard, 41, was found dead in the mobile home she lived in with her partner, Keith M. Barber, 50, according to a news release. The home at 2311 W 16th Ave. burned down shortly after midnight Monday. A cause of death has not been released for either victim.

Police are investigating her death as a murder suicide.

Blanchard was a transgender man living as a woman, police said. Investigators do not believe her identity was a factor in the murder-suicide.

Medical examiners have been unable to locate Blanchard’s relatives. Anyone with information about her next of kin is asked to call the medical examiner at 509-477-2296.

SAfrican man wakes in morgue fridge

By NASTASYA TAY,Associated Press
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A South African man awoke to find himself in a morgue fridge — nearly a day after his family thought he had died, a health official said Monday.

Health department spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the man awoke Sunday afternoon, 21 hours after his family called in an undertaker who sent him to the morgue after an asthma attack.

Morgue owner Ayanda Maqolo said he sent his driver to collect the body shortly after the family reported the death. Maqolo said he thought the man was around 80 years old.

“When he got there, the driver examined the body, checked his pulse, looked for a heartbeat, but there was nothing,” Maqolo told the Associated Press.

But a day after staff put the body into a locked refrigerated compartment, morgue workers heard someone shouting for help. They thought it was a ghost, the morgue owner said.

“I couldn't believe it!” Maqolo said. “I was also scared. But they are my employees and I had to show them I wasn't scared, so I called the police.”

After police arrived, the group entered the morgue together.

“I was glad they had their firearms, in case something wanted to fight with us,” Maqolo said.

He said the man was pale when they pulled him out.

“He asked, 'How did I get here?'” Maqolo said.

The health department said the man was then taken to a nearby hospital for observation and later discharged by doctors who deemed him stable.

Kupelo, the health department spokesman, urged South Africans to call on health officials to confirm that their relatives are really dead.

The man's family was informed that he was alive during a family meeting convened to make funeral arrangements. They're very happy to have him home, Maqolo said.

But Maqolo said he is still trying to recover from the traumatic experience.

“I couldn't sleep last night, I had nightmares,” he said. “But today I'm much better.”

Cops: Thief struck after finding corpse

Police say a Spokane man had an unusual reaction to his grandfather’s death: grand theft.

Anthony S. Jungen, 19, was ordered held Tuesday at the Spokane County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail on theft allegations that border on the macabre.

Police say Jungen found his grandfather dead early Monday after forcing his way into the man’s east central Spokane home. But instead of contacting authorities, Jungen left the corpse where it was and allegedly stole the man’s wallet and car before returning to the house a while later to load up some video games and a coin collection as well.

Read my full story here.

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