September 24, 2008 in City

Homicide victim shot in head

Staff reports The Spokesman-Review

The Spokane Valley man killed last weekend died from gunshot wounds to the head, the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office said today.

Kenneth Cross, 80, was found dead in his bedroom closet Saturday evening, the apparent victim of a daytime burglary.

The killer remains at large, and no suspects have been named.

Cross was found after anticipated calls to his girlfriend never came.

Cross and his 82-year-old Greenacres girlfriend called each other every morning and again at lunchtime. So when he failed to show up for his usual visit after calling about noon, she asked neighbors to check in on him in his home at the corner of Boone Avenue and Wilbur Road.

When they didn’t find Cross, she went to the home and discovered his body half-hidden under a pile of clothing. Police arrived on the scene about 7:50 p.m.

“He had a lot of medical problems so when I heard the fire trucks I thought his heart was just acting up again and he had called 911,” said a 50-year neighbor, who declined to give his name.

Police said evidence shows the house had been ransacked. Cross’ injuries were consistent with a fight, so police suspect he struggled with a burglar.

The investigation continues into a brutal crime that has rattled the quiet Opportunity neighborhood, where residents are friends and crime is rare.

Many neighbors are scared not just for themselves but for single, elderly residents like Cross who populate the area.

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