After a long day of interviews, sheriff’s investigators said late Tuesday they have no suspects and no motive in the fatal shooting of a newspaper deliveryman.
Gary Loesch, a 56-year-old father of two, died early Monday morning while delivering The Spokesman-Review newspaper to homes in the Post Falls area.
“It is a pretty big mystery,” said Kootenai County Sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger. “We don’t have any great suspects at this time or obvious motives to work with.”
The Spokesman-Review is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who shot Loesch. Anyone with information is asked to call the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department at (208) 664-1511.
Investigators spent much of Tuesday interviewing people - Loesch’s family, people who had seen him before he died and people who lived in the area where he was killed
“It’s been a steady stream, in and out of the office,” Wolfinger said. “We just have a lack of witnesses.”
Loesch was alone when he was shot once in the head about 3:30 a.m. Monday, sheriff’s officials said.
He was about halfway through his paper route when he turned his car off Ohio Match Road onto a private gravel roadway east of Post Falls.
His window was rolled down as he inserted two newspapers into paper boxes on the side of the road. Before he could drive away, Loesch was shot once at close range, Wolfinger said.
Neighbors called police about 6:50 a.m. after noticing his car parked next to the boxes with its lights on.
The shooting has unnerved some residents who live in the area where Loesch was killed.
Elaine Hatfield who lives within sight of where the shooting occurred, was used to seeing Loesch’s headlights pass in the early morning as he delivered the newspaper.
“It’s too weird,” she said. “It makes no sense to me.”
“What I’m concerned about is motive,” said neighbor Peter Miller. “What is the reason for something like this?”
The Spokesman-Review reward is being offered “in the hope that there are individuals who would be disturbed and upset about this senseless act and would feel it was in the best interest of the family and community to come forward with the information,” said Chris Peck, the newspaper’s editor.
The Spokesman-Review has also donated $1,000 to a trust fund the company opened for the Loesch family. Anyone wanting to assist the family can make donations at any West One Bank branch in the name of Gary Loesch.
“We feel for his wife and his children and we felt this might be a way for the community to show its concern for the family,” Peck said.
Bob Thomas, home delivery manager for The Spokesman-Review, said he does not believe paper carriers are in danger because of the shooting.
“I can’t believe there is somebody out there as a predator to carriers,” he said.
Although Loesch would not have been collecting payment for newspaper delivery when he was shot, The Spokesman-Review is encouraging subscribers to make payments in advance directly to the office rather than through the carriers, Thomas said.
He said the paper is also shifting toward group distribution centers. Such centers make it possible for carriers to pick up their papers in groups, rather than alone.