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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sirens & Gavels

Cops: Missing woman may have drowned

Investigators believe a Kamiah, Idaho, woman missing since April 1 may have drowned in the Clearwater River.

They're not sure if Lavina Hietala's disappearance was the result of foul play and are asking for information on the activities of her grandson, Justin M. Hietala, from March 28 to April 1.

The man has not been named a suspect. He remains in the Lewis County Jail on burglary charges.  

Detectives say Justin Hietala, 27, did not provide "any information concerning his grandmother's whereabouts.

Detectives developed information indicating the 72-year-old woman likely ended up in the river, but police declined to elaborate.

"Due to the potential of her being in the Clearwater River, search efforts have been scaled down," accoridng to a news release from the Idaho State Police. "Because of the low water temperature and high water flows it is unlikely Lavina could survive being in the river since April 1. "

Anyone with information on Justin Hietala's activities is asked to call ISP Lt. Charlie Spencer at (208) 799-5020.

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.