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Two charged with murder after body found in river

UPDATED: Fri., June 28, 2013, 2:44 p.m.

Two men with no prior arrest records have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a body found in the Spokane River on Thursday, police said.

Vincent L. Merrill, 20, and Dakota J. Moss, 24, are both being held on $1 million bonds.

They are accused of killing Mark E. Pedersen, 40, whose body was found bound and gagged with a bag over his head in the Spokane River.

The medical examiner performed an autopsy today and ruled the death a homicide. The cause of death was strangulation. Blunt head injury was listed as a contributing factor.

Lt. Mark Griffiths said police believe Pedersen was a transient and that he was killed in the spot where he was found, submerged in the water along the Spokane River near the bridge at Spokane Falls Boulevard west of Hamilton Street. The body was found around 11:30 a.m. by fishermen who flagged down a runner with a cell phone to call 911.

All suspects have been identified and arrested, police said.

This story will be updated.