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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Kimberly Schmidt

Suspect had victim’s obituary in his truck

Detectives search murder suspect Daniel Arteaga's home at 19329 E. Valleyway Ave., in Spokane Valley on Tuesday. (SRPhoto/Meghann Cuniff)

Detectives found a newspaper containing murder victim Kim Schmidt's obituary when they searched the truck of her suspected killer recently.

Daniel R. Arteaga, 40, had the obituary in his GMC truck, along with .45 caliber handgun in a fanny back, cartridges and magazines, DVDs and a notebook and earrings.

Detectives seized those items Aug. 7 after Arteaga was arrested for first-degree murder. They also seized nearly 100 items from his home at 19329 E. Valleyway in Spokane Valley.

Among the times found at Arteaga's home were notebooks and at least 29 firearms, including shotguns, rifles and pistols. Arteaga has a concealed weapons permit.

He remains in jail on $1 million bond for first-degree murder. He's accused of killing Schmidt, who was found dead of a gunshot wound to her head at her home in north Spokane on Jan. 1.

Arteaga has been married for about 22 years and told detectives his wife of 22 years didn't know he'd been having an affair with Schmidt for about 6 1/2 years.

Detectives believe Schmidt's desire to end their relationship and the money he owed her may have been a factor in her murder. Schmidt and Arteaga also were named in two lawsuits, and Schmidt had told Arteaga she was romantically involved with another man.

New details revealed in Schmidt homicide

A former scuba diving instructor arrested for murder dated the victim for years and was described by her friends as violent and controlling, according to information released Wednesday.

Daniel R. Arteaga, 40, remains in the Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond after appearing before Superior Court Judge Annette Plese Wednesday on a first-degree murder charge.

Artega must surrender his passport should he post bond. Deputy Prosecutor Gayle Ervin described him as an “international traveler” whose trips which include excursions to the Caribbean and Fiji.

Read the rest of my story here.

Scuba instructor arrested for murder

Detectives search murder suspect Daniel Arteaga's home at 19329 E. Valleyway Ave., in Spokane Valley on Tuesday. (SRPhoto/Meghann Cuniff)

A Spokane diving instructor romantically linked to a woman who was found shot to death on New Year’s Day has been arrested as a suspect in her murder.

  Daniel R. Arteaga, 40, was arrested at the Public Safety Building Tuesday after voluntarily reporting there for an interview. He is expected to appear in Spokane County Superior Court Wednesday afternoon via video from the jail, where he is booked on a first-degree murder charge for the shooting death of Kimberly Schmidt.

Read the rest of my story here.

Cell tower info may aid murder probe

Detectives are seeking cellphone tower location information for phones belonging to a Spokane murder victim and two men with romantic ties to her.

 Kimberly Rae Schmidt, 34, was found dead of a gunshot wound to her head Jan. 1 in what the medical examiner's office has ruled a homicide.

According to court documents filed today, a man with whom Schmidt had past romantic ties with told detectives they recently began rekindling their relationship and that he was to spend New Year's Eve with her, but she cancelled about 10:40 p.m.

The man told detectives he knew Schmidt was seeing another man that night, documents say. That man told detectives he last saw Schmidt about 4 a.m. when she was sleeping in her bedroom.  Schmidt's daughter saw the two together earlier that night when they dropped her off at a friend's home for a party.

Both men allowed detectives to review their cellphones. Detectives say the men had “numerous text correspondents” with Schmidt on Dec. 31.

Spokane County sheriff's Detective Mike Drapeau filed search warrants with phone companies last week seeking cell tower information for the three phones that could help him determine where the three were about the time of the murder, according to documents filed today. Results have not been released.

Drapeau said in January that he believes one of the men is a likely suspect.

Schmidt’s mother found Schmidt dead in her home at 37 E. Regina Ave. on Jan. 1. Detectives seized a cloth drawstring bag with a gun barrel sticking out. Drapeau said he believes a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun was the homicide weapon, but he has to wait for the lab to confirm it.

Detectives also are looking into two civil lawsuits that name Schmidt and scuba diving instructor Daniel R. Arteaga, who both worked part time for the Scuba Center of Spokane. The suits involve two scuba diving accidents; on that left a man dead another that allegedly left a woman with brain damage.

Arteaga and Schmidt were notified about the pending suit two and a half weeks before Schmidt was murdered. Schmidt was expected to be a key witness in the case.

Schmidt, a Spokane native and graduate of Shadle Park High School, worked at Pitney Bowes with Tracy Ader, Tracy Ader, who was killed with her two sons in February by 22-year-old Dustin Gilman, who killed himself.

Past coverage:

Jan. 11: Murder victim's family grateful for support

Murder victim named in 2 scuba lawsuits

Detectives have expanded the criminal investigation into the fatal shooting of a north Spokane mother to include two civil lawsuits naming the victim.

 Each lawsuit involves separate scuba diving accidents; one left a man dead and another allegedly left a woman with brain damage.

Although no arrests have been made in the homicide case, Spokane County sheriff’s Detective Mike Drapeau said he is waiting on evidence to come back from the state crime lab and that investigators have focused on an individual who had been romantically involved with 34-year-old Kimberly R. Schmidt.

Read the rest of the story here.

Murder victim’s family grateful for support

The parents of a woman found dead of a gunshot wound in her home on New Year's Day are thanking the community for the outpouring show of support.

 “There was so much evil when I walked into that house. The outpouring from her friends has really helped ease that,” said Toni Schmidt, mother of homicide victim Kimberly Rae Schmidt, 34 (pictured).

More than 500 people attended Schmidt's memorial service on Sunday, with many standing in the hallways because they were not able to get in the room. Attendees included seven women who met Schmidt at a camp on Orcas Island when she was 19. They hadn't seen her in years, but made the drove from the Western Washington to pay their respects.

Toni Schmidt and Randall Schmidt were not able to greet everyone at the service, and they said Tuesday night that they want to make sure everyone knows how much they appreciate the support.

The Schmidts declined to discuss the details of the investigation into their daughter's death but said they feel the case will be solved.

They hinted at possible domestic violence issues with Schmidt, which they said were surprising at first because “she was an extremely strong and intelligent person,” Toni Schmidt said.

Schmidt was born in Spokane and graduated from Shadle Park High School and Eastern Washington University. She loved the ocean and was planning to scuba dive in Manila, Philippines when she went there for a two-week business trip for next month. She leaves behind a 12-year-old daughter.

Toni Schmidt called police after finding her daughter on Jan. 1 in her home on East Regina Avenue.

Sheriff's investigators arrived to find Schmidt dead in her bed with a gunshot wound to the right side of her head, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. A lamp had been knocked over, and detectives noted blood smeared on the wall at the head of the bed that indicated Schmidt's body had been moved.

They also found a small cloth, drawstring bag to Schmidt's left that had the front portion of the barrel of a gun visible, according to court documents. They seized the .25 semi-automatic handgun,, as well as .25 shell casing located on her bed, along with a fleece blanket with a bullet hole in it.

Detectives also seized three guns from a gun safe downstairs, and three from a laundry room cabinet, as well as ammunition. They also found a cell phone with its battery removed in a black purse on the kitchen table, according to the search warrant.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Homicide victim’s memorial is Sunday

A memorial service for a 34-year-old Spokane woman is scheduled for Sunday - one week after she was found dead of a gunshot wound.

Kimberly Rae Schmidt will be remembered at the Heritage Funeral Home, 508 N. Government Way, at 1 p.m.

Her coworkers at Pitney Bowes business-services company, where Schmidt worked as the leasing manager, are expected to attended.

Kathryn Epler worked for Schmidt and said she was a great boss and “very caring to everybody.”

Schmidt's murder has devastated her coworkers, Epler said.

“It's very hard to work,” she said. “We're all stunned that this could happen to someone who is so likable.”

Schmidt was planning a business trip overseas early next month, Epler said. She planned to spend her days off scuba diving, which Epler said was one of her passions.

“There's no way this was a suicide or anything like that,” Epler said.

Schmidt's mother found her dead in her home at 37 E. Regina Ave. Jan. 1.

The Medical Examiner's Office has not determined whether Schmidt's death was a homicide, but detectives are investigating it as one.

Schmidt was located in bed on her back with a gunshot wound to the right side of her head, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. A lamp had been knocked over, and detectives noted blood smeared on the wall at the head of the bed that indicated Schmidt's body had been moved.

They also found a small cloth, drawstring bag to Schmidt's left that had the front portion of the barrel of a gun visible, according to court documents. They seized the .25 semi-automatic handgun, as well as .25 shell casing located on her bed, along with a fleece blanket with a bullet hole in it.

Detectives also seized three guns from a gun safe downstairs, and three from a laundry room cabinet, as well as ammunition.

They also found a cell phone with its battery removed in a black purse on the kitchen table, according to the search warrant.

Schmidt was born in Spokane, graduated from Shadle Park High School and Eastern Washington University.

“Kim's pride and joy was her daughter and her hard work in dance and school,” according to her obituary. “Her favorite title was “Dance Mom” and enjoyed watching, with a little sadness how her —lil' monkey was growing into a young lady.” Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

7 guns found in homicide victim’s home

Detectives investigating the shooting death of a north Spokane woman found a handgun in a bag next to her body, according to documents filed Wednesday.

The gun was one of seven recovered from the home at 37 E. Regina Sunday night by Spokane County sheriff's detectives investigating the death of Kimberly Rae Schmidt, 34.

They were called to the home about 2:30 p.m. after Schmidt's mother, Toni Schmidt, found Schmidt dead in her bed after coming to the home to check on her.

Kim Schmidt was located in bed on her back with a gunshot wound to the right side of her head. A lamp had been knocked over, and detectives noted blood smeared on the wall at the head of the bed that indicated Schmidt's body had been moved. They also found a small cloth, drawstring bag to Schmidt's left that had the front portion of the barrel of a gun visible, according to court documents.

Detectives obtained a search warrant and seized the gun, which was identified as a .25 semi-automatic handgun with a magazine containing five bullets. A .25 shell casing was located on the bed next to Schmidt, as well as a fleece blanket with a bullet hole in it.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has not concluded whether Schmidt's death was a homicide and say they are awaiting the police investigation. Police say the consider the case a homicide and say detectives found no suicide note. They seized a pillows, clothes and other items from the room. They also seized three guns from a gun safe downstairs, and three from a laundry room cabinet, as well as ammunition.

Schmidt is the mother a young girl. She is listed as a 1995 graduate of Shadle Park High School and 2004 graduate of Eastern Washington University, where she studied accounting. She later worked for Pitney Bowes.

Toni Schmidt said a funeral service is set for Sunday. She expects to have more details later today. Donations can be made to the “Kim Schmidt Memorial Fund” at any Spokane Teachers Credit Union branch. 
  

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