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Kidnapping investigation leads to arrests

A SWAT team aided in the execution of a search warrant in the West Central neighborhood Thursday afternoon tied to a kidnapping investigation, the Spokane Police Department said.

The search warrant was served at 1523 W. Knox Ave. Several people are in custody, but police said they’re still looking for other suspects in the case.

“The kidnapping occurred locally,” said Spokane police Capt. Brad Arleth. “This is the residence where we believe that crime occurred.”

The investigation also led to an arrest in the 700 block of North 21st Street in Coeur d’Alene on Thursday afternoon and caused a brief lockdown at Fernan Elementary. “We received information that there is a possible missing person in connection with this case,” said police spokeswoman Monique Cotton.

In Spokane, neighbors said their street is generally quiet, but after new renters moved into the Knox home three weeks ago it became a drug house. Neighbors have been keeping a list of license plate numbers of the many cars coming and going – which one described as a nightly “convoy” – and have turned them over to police.

“This particular address has been on our radar,” Arleth said. Police refused to give further details about the case or the ongoing investigation.

Rachel Schelin lives across the street and a few houses down from the house. “Every 10 minutes we’d see a car come up, stay three minutes and then leave,” she said. The house burned down in 2012 and was recently rebuilt, she said.

Travis Corneil lives next door, and the announcement from the SWAT team for the house’s occupants to come out and surrender woke him up. “I thought they were talking to me,” he said.

Corneil walked to his front door in his shorts, opened it and put up his hands, only to be told to go back inside.