Post Falls man charged in lake death
Dylan P. Paschall said the last time he saw Luke Anana-Kuewa, the teenager was alive.
That was nearly one year ago, after authorities say an evening of drinking rum and smoking marijuana turned into a violent clash on the bank of the icy Mill Pond at Spirit Lake.
Now Paschall, of Post Falls, is in the Kootenai County Jail on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Anana-Kuewa. Investigators say the 18-year-old was beaten, choked, smothered and left in the frigid water on the evening of March 24, 2012.
Kootenai County sheriff’s detectives arrested Paschall, 20, Monday night. He is being held on $100,000 bail.
Detectives spent months interviewing Paschall and three friends who were with him that night at Bubba’s Pit, a popular party spot northwest of the Spirit Lake bridge.
The four, including two other young men and a 15-year-old girl, initially told investigators they were drinking around a fire when Anana-Kuewa showed up. They said they offered him rum and marijuana and that he accepted.
Then Anana-Kuewa began to act strangely, crawl on the ground and yell “Don’t hit me” and “Help me, kill me,” witnesses said.
They said Anana-Kuewa then walked into the cold water and that Paschall repeatedly tried to get him back on the bank, but Anana-Kuewa resisted. They said they left him there screaming and went home.
After repeated interviews, however, investigators concluded a fight broke out and the victim “was either pushed, fell or fled into the water where he started screaming for help,” a sheriff’s report states.
While Anana-Kuewa was screaming, one of the men choked and punched him several times to try to silence him, then Paschall smothered Anana-Kuewa with his hand and repeatedly punched him, according to the account from investigators.
The man who allegedly choked Anana-Kuewa told police that after the group had left, he went back down to the water and saw him floating face down near a log.
None of the four sought help that night. All but Paschall returned the next morning, found the body and contacted authorities.
The county coroner concluded Anana-Kuewa drowned but noted he had cuts and scrapes on his face as well as wounds to his knuckles and fingers.
In their first interview with him, investigators noted that Paschall had scrapes and cuts on his hands.