Local news

Panhandler sought in woman’s killing

A fight over $20 ended in a north Spokane woman’s death, the Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Authorities believe Jennifer Lee Siria, 28, died early Monday of strangulation after letting two men who were panhandling in north Spokane stay at her apartment at 537 E. Hawthorne Road, sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Dave Reagan said.

Police discovered Siria’s body Monday after a sheriff’s deputy picked up Matthew T. Shope, 17, and Michael Anthony Quinones, 28, about 3 a.m. as they were walking in the area near Siria’s home.

Deputy Sam Palmer let Quinones go and drove Shope to the juvenile detention center after the teen said he’d run away from Daybreak, a teen drug-rehabilitation center, and had a warrant in Kootenai County, according to a news release prepared by Reagan.

At the detention center, the boy allegedly told his caseworker he’d witnessed a homicide and had blood on his clothes, according to a news release.

Shope took Detective Kip Hollenbeck to the apartment, where Hollenbeck found the body. The detective called the Sheriff’s Office after realizing the apartment was outside city limits.

Authorities charged Shope with first-degree murder Monday, but Quinones, whom deputies also suspect in the homicide, is still at large. Quinones recently moved to Spokane and has a criminal history, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities believe Quinones and Shope told Siria they’d give her $20 to let them stay at her apartment overnight but later decided to leave and demanded their money back.

Siria, a 1998 graduate of Mead High School, apparently told the two where the money was, but they couldn’t find it and killed her, according to a news release.

Shope will be tried as an adult, the Spokane County Juvenile Court ruled.


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