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Feds find dead body while snowmobiling

Federal agents found a dead body while training with snowmobiles last week in Pend Oreille County.

U.S. Border Patrol agents were in the mountains northeast of Sullivan Lake when they found the body of a adult male, the Pend Oreille Sheriff's Office announced Monday.

Deputies say the man is a 61-year-old from Los Angeles. His identity is being withheld until his family is notified of his death.

Investigators believe the man left his vehicle on foot and died and hypothermia, the sheriff's office said.

Murder victim’s family grateful for support

The parents of a woman found dead of a gunshot wound in her home on New Year's Day are thanking the community for the outpouring show of support.

 “There was so much evil when I walked into that house. The outpouring from her friends has really helped ease that,” said Toni Schmidt, mother of homicide victim Kimberly Rae Schmidt, 34 (pictured).

More than 500 people attended Schmidt's memorial service on Sunday, with many standing in the hallways because they were not able to get in the room. Attendees included seven women who met Schmidt at a camp on Orcas Island when she was 19. They hadn't seen her in years, but made the drove from the Western Washington to pay their respects.

Toni Schmidt and Randall Schmidt were not able to greet everyone at the service, and they said Tuesday night that they want to make sure everyone knows how much they appreciate the support.

The Schmidts declined to discuss the details of the investigation into their daughter's death but said they feel the case will be solved.

They hinted at possible domestic violence issues with Schmidt, which they said were surprising at first because “she was an extremely strong and intelligent person,” Toni Schmidt said.

Schmidt was born in Spokane and graduated from Shadle Park High School and Eastern Washington University. She loved the ocean and was planning to scuba dive in Manila, Philippines when she went there for a two-week business trip for next month. She leaves behind a 12-year-old daughter.

Toni Schmidt called police after finding her daughter on Jan. 1 in her home on East Regina Avenue.

Sheriff's investigators arrived to find Schmidt dead in her bed with a gunshot wound to the right side of her head, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. A lamp had been knocked over, and detectives noted blood smeared on the wall at the head of the bed that indicated Schmidt's body had been moved.

They also found a small cloth, drawstring bag to Schmidt's left that had the front portion of the barrel of a gun visible, according to court documents. They seized the .25 semi-automatic handgun,, as well as .25 shell casing located on her bed, along with a fleece blanket with a bullet hole in it.

Detectives also seized three guns from a gun safe downstairs, and three from a laundry room cabinet, as well as ammunition. They also found a cell phone with its battery removed in a black purse on the kitchen table, according to the search warrant.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Homicide victim’s memorial is Sunday

A memorial service for a 34-year-old Spokane woman is scheduled for Sunday - one week after she was found dead of a gunshot wound.

Kimberly Rae Schmidt will be remembered at the Heritage Funeral Home, 508 N. Government Way, at 1 p.m.

Her coworkers at Pitney Bowes business-services company, where Schmidt worked as the leasing manager, are expected to attended.

Kathryn Epler worked for Schmidt and said she was a great boss and “very caring to everybody.”

Schmidt's murder has devastated her coworkers, Epler said.

“It's very hard to work,” she said. “We're all stunned that this could happen to someone who is so likable.”

Schmidt was planning a business trip overseas early next month, Epler said. She planned to spend her days off scuba diving, which Epler said was one of her passions.

“There's no way this was a suicide or anything like that,” Epler said.

Schmidt's mother found her dead in her home at 37 E. Regina Ave. Jan. 1.

The Medical Examiner's Office has not determined whether Schmidt's death was a homicide, but detectives are investigating it as one.

Schmidt was located in bed on her back with a gunshot wound to the right side of her head, according to the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. A lamp had been knocked over, and detectives noted blood smeared on the wall at the head of the bed that indicated Schmidt's body had been moved.

They also found a small cloth, drawstring bag to Schmidt's left that had the front portion of the barrel of a gun visible, according to court documents. They seized the .25 semi-automatic handgun, as well as .25 shell casing located on her bed, along with a fleece blanket with a bullet hole in it.

Detectives also seized three guns from a gun safe downstairs, and three from a laundry room cabinet, as well as ammunition.

They also found a cell phone with its battery removed in a black purse on the kitchen table, according to the search warrant.

Schmidt was born in Spokane, graduated from Shadle Park High School and Eastern Washington University.

“Kim's pride and joy was her daughter and her hard work in dance and school,” according to her obituary. “Her favorite title was “Dance Mom” and enjoyed watching, with a little sadness how her —lil' monkey was growing into a young lady.” Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.

Officials: Skeleton is that of missing man

The skeletal remains found near Henry Road in Liberty Lake Saturday have been identified as a man missing since April.

 Investigators say Christopher R. Milam, 51, died of a single gunshot wound to his chest. Police found a gun near his body. They have not ruled Milam's death a suicide and say they will be interviewing Milam's family.

Read more from Nina Culver here.

7 guns found in homicide victim’s home

Detectives investigating the shooting death of a north Spokane woman found a handgun in a bag next to her body, according to documents filed Wednesday.

The gun was one of seven recovered from the home at 37 E. Regina Sunday night by Spokane County sheriff's detectives investigating the death of Kimberly Rae Schmidt, 34.

They were called to the home about 2:30 p.m. after Schmidt's mother, Toni Schmidt, found Schmidt dead in her bed after coming to the home to check on her.

Kim Schmidt was located in bed on her back with a gunshot wound to the right side of her head. A lamp had been knocked over, and detectives noted blood smeared on the wall at the head of the bed that indicated Schmidt's body had been moved. They also found a small cloth, drawstring bag to Schmidt's left that had the front portion of the barrel of a gun visible, according to court documents.

Detectives obtained a search warrant and seized the gun, which was identified as a .25 semi-automatic handgun with a magazine containing five bullets. A .25 shell casing was located on the bed next to Schmidt, as well as a fleece blanket with a bullet hole in it.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has not concluded whether Schmidt's death was a homicide and say they are awaiting the police investigation. Police say the consider the case a homicide and say detectives found no suicide note. They seized a pillows, clothes and other items from the room. They also seized three guns from a gun safe downstairs, and three from a laundry room cabinet, as well as ammunition.

Schmidt is the mother a young girl. She is listed as a 1995 graduate of Shadle Park High School and 2004 graduate of Eastern Washington University, where she studied accounting. She later worked for Pitney Bowes.

Toni Schmidt said a funeral service is set for Sunday. She expects to have more details later today. Donations can be made to the “Kim Schmidt Memorial Fund” at any Spokane Teachers Credit Union branch. 
  

Skeleton’s poor teeth could be clue to ID

Grant County detectives are asking for help identifying a man found dead with a single gunshot wound last month.

The man's skeletal remains were found Nov. 23 near O'Sullivan Dam in southeast Grant County. Detectives believe he may have been there for more than a year.  Forensic artist Natalie Murry produced a sketch of what the victim may have looked like based on an analysis by The King County Medical Examiner's Office.

The man is believed to have been white or Hispanic, about 35 years old and 5-foot-1 to 6-foot-1, according to the Grant County Sheriff's Office. His teeth were in poor condition and his two front teeth were affixed with silver dental caps. One tooth was broken beneath the cap.

The victim was wearing a Phat Farm long-sleeved shirt and short-sleeved shirt, as well as Route 66 dark denim jeans with a 28 waist size. He had an insulated, tan and orange vest and wore a black stocking cap and size 8 1/2 block shoes with Velcro closures.

“Please keep in mind the man's actual hair length and color, facial hair or skin complexion may have been different since it was not possible to determine those features,” according to a news release.

Anyone with possible information on the man is asked to call Detective Kim Cook at (509) 754-2011 ext. 471, or email crimetips@co.grant.wa.us. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Man who died after fleeing hospital ID’d

A hallucinating man who died early Saturday after fleeing a Spokane hospital has been identified as Steven Edward Escallier, 42.

Escallier was taken by ambulance to a hospital after police found him “suffering from hallucinations” at East Wellesley Avenue and North Standard Avenue Friday about 9:30 p.m.

Hospital staff called 911 at 12:04 a.m. Saturday and said Escallier had fled the hospital and that security was following him.

When police arrived, Escallier “had stopped breathing,” according to a news release.

Officers administered CPR and Escallier was taken back to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy confirmed his identity Monday, but the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has not yet determined his cause of death.

Escallier is a longtime felon who has at least 40 criminal convictions dating back more than 25 years.

He was sentenced to a year of prison and year of drug treatment in 2009 after posing as a Drug Enforcement Administration agent and trying to rob two men he thought were drug dealers.

The men were actually trying to complete a cell phone sale advertised on Craigslist. Escallier told Judge Maryann Moreno at his sentencing in August 2009 that he was a longtime drug addict who was ready to change.

Moreno was skeptical.

“I bet you’ve said all these things in court before,” the judge said at the time. “I hear it all the time…You’re going to figure it out or you’re probably going to die.”

A multi-agency team is investigating Escallier's death.

Man, 30, dies in CdA police custody

A 30-year-old man who lost consciousness while in Coeur d’Alene police custody died early Thursday at Kootenai Medical Center.

Nicholas Andrew Clason was pronounced dead at the hospital , where he was admitted late Sunday for a possible drug overdose.

Police first contacted him about 10:40 p.m. Sunday at the Fourth Street on-ramp of westbound Interstate 90 after officers received reports of a suicidal man. Police reports say Clason was diabetic.

Read the rest of my story here.

Spokane man dies of trauma in Missoula

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — Police are investigating the death of a Spokane man who was found unconscious with severe head trauma outside the Elks Club in Missoula.

KECI-TV reports 41-year-old Angelo Lorenzo Fuentes (pictured in 2003) died Sunday.

Lt. Richard Sepper tells the Missoulian the injured man was found at about 12:10 a.m. Saturday and taken to St. Patrick Hospital. It is unknown if his injuries were accidental or if he was beaten.

He was on life support until early Sunday when the Missoula County coroner pronounced him dead.

Police say they believe Fuentes had attended a concert at the Elks Club on Friday evening.

Fuentes was quoted in this 2003 article about his nephew being sentenced for the shooting death of a young man during a drug deal.