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In brief: Woman shot, killed; suspect in custody

Tue., Dec. 27, 2011

An 18-year-old woman was shot and killed on Christmas Day in Benewah County, Idaho, officials confirm.

Stefanie Comack died at Kootenai Medical Center after being shot in the head in St. Maries, officials say. Joseph Duane Herrera, 28, is in jail on a murder charge.

The shooting was reported at 11:43 a.m. on Sunday.

Comack worked as a certified nurse assistant at Valley Vista Care Center in St. Maries and graduated from Kootenai Bridge Academy in 2011, according to her Facebook page.

An autopsy is scheduled this morning in Spokane, said Benewah County Coroner Ron Hodge.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Eagle watchers told to park properly

Police are warning eagle watchers at Lake Coeur d’Alene to stay off the highway because of what they describe as hazardous congestion.

People travel to the east end of the lake on state Highway 97, just off Interstate 90, to watch the bald eagles, and the increase in stopped cars along the highway is making the already congested highway more dangerous, the Idaho State Police said Monday.

Stopped vehicles must be off the paved portion of the highway.

Any vehicles left on the pavement can be towed at the owner’s expense.

Meghann M. Cuniff

Help sought finding Moses Lake farmer

Investigators are asking for help finding a Moses Lake farmer last seen taking his dog to a veterinarian on Friday.

Dan Toya, 64, told his wife he was taking their 1-year-old golden Labrador retriever to the vet and then for a walk. When he didn’t return, his wife contacted family members, who found his truck in the Samson’s Beach area.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office conducted a ground search, worked into the night and continued Saturday morning, but they found no signs of Toya or his dog. The search was suspended about 2 p.m. Saturday.

Toya was described as being in good health and good spirits when he left. Toya is an Asian man who is 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds with gray hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a dark jacket, blue jeans and tennis shoes.

Anyone who’s seen him recently is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (509) 762-1160, or send information to Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Meghann M. Cuniff


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