June 10, 1997 in City

Transient’s Body Found In Field Near Interstate 90 Police Believe Unidentified Man Was Killed By Blow To The Head

By The Spokesman-Review

Police searching for a suspect near downtown Spokane on Sunday night found a transient’s body instead.

It appears the man was murdered, detectives said.

Two patrol officers and a police dog were walking through an overgrown lot near Maple Street and Interstate 90 about 10:30 p.m. when they found the body, police said.

It looked like someone had bashed in the man’s head while he slept, police Lt. Jerry Oien said Monday.

“His shoes were off, and he was covered up with his blanket, like he had just gone to sleep there,” Oien said.

Detectives speculated the victim died Saturday or Sunday. An autopsy will be performed today.

The man had no identification on him. He was white, probably in his mid-40s or early 50s, with “salt-and-pepper hair,” Oien said.

Police hope to find out who he is by using his fingerprints.

Officers were responding to a domestic violence call when they found the corpse.

Witnesses told police the man who was the subject of the complaint might be hiding in the lot.

Police found the body on the west end of the lot, which runs between Walnut and Maple just south of I-90.

Transients are known to camp on the property during the summer, Oien said.

Detectives cordoned off the area until Monday morning, when they gathered evidence and removed the body.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Map of area where body was found

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