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Medical examiner identifies woman found dead in field Thursday

UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 27, 2013, 4:29 p.m.

Jamie L. Keiffer (Courtesy of Jennifer Johnson)
Jamie L. Keiffer (Courtesy of Jennifer Johnson)

The woman had drugs in her system, but the medical examiner is conducting more tests.

A close friend of a Spokane Valley woman found dead in a field Thursday said just a day before her death, she’d made plans to turn her life around and stop using drugs.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s office has identified the woman as Jamie L. Kieffer, 50. She was found around 8:22 a.m. Thursday near Fourth Avenue and Custer Road. The medical examiner said drugs were in Kieffer’s system and may have contributed to her death, but further tests are under way.

Jennifer Johnson, a neighbor and good friend of Kieffer’s, was waiting for her morning coffee date with Kieffer Thursday morning. The two were unlikely friends, Johnson said, but they were close anyway.

“We loved each other to death,” Johnson said. “She was real genuine, real caring, real loving for somebody who had so little.”

The pair had made plans to meet Thursday morning so Kieffer could apply for Social Security, then schedule appointments for drug treatment and mental health evaluations. Kieffer wanted to be a part of her grandchildren’s lives, Johnson said, and she knew she couldn’t with her lifestyle.

“She didn’t want to be on the streets,” Johnson said. “Her body was just failing so bad.”

But Kieffer never came.

Johnson received a phone call from a mutual friend that morning. They thought Kieffer was the woman lying dead in the field, surrounded by Spokane County Sheriff’s investigators.

The field where she was found was just a mile from her house, and Kieffer was known to frequent that area, Johnson said.

The manner of Kieffer’s death has not been determined, but Johnson struggles to believe she overdosed. She was using less than she once did, Johnson said.

Kieffer is survived by a sister, three children and several grandchildren, Johnson said. Kieffer’s children declined to comment.

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