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Wednesday, October 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Deputies seek witness in jogger’s fatal injury

Retired pastor suffered head wound, later died

Detectives are looking for a witness who helped alert Spokane Valley authorities last month to an injured jogger who later died.

A motorist found retired pastor David W. Thorin, 71, at East Fourth Avenue and South Adams Road about 6:45 a.m. Sept. 18 with an “obvious head wound,” the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Medics described Thorin as “uncooperative and combative” and said he didn’t say how he’d been injured. He later died at a hospital.

Thorin was a pastor at Bethany Covenant Church in Warren, Mich., and Minnehaha Covenant Church in Spokane, according to his obituary. He was retired but filled in as pastor when needed, said Lewis Dennis, a volunteer at Minnehaha.

Thorin’s daughter, Anita Reynolds, said her father died from head trauma related to a fall that occurred while he was jogging. The cause of the fall is unclear.

“As far as we knew he was in perfect health at his age, running several miles a day,” Dennis said.

Thorin attended First Convent Church downtown and was active in activities to help the homeless, Dennis said.

He was a regular volunteer at Spokane Valley Partners food bank, said Ken Briggs, chief executive officer.

“He was here every week sorting food for us,” Briggs said. “He was a good guy.”

Thorin’s autopsy revealed three broken ribs along with the head injury, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A witness described as an Asian man called 911, but police said he had difficulty communicating with the dispatcher, and another man who identified himself as T.J. took the phone.

Now detectives are trying to find T.J., who they believe could help them determine if Thorin “fell while jogging, was struck by a vehicle or was assaulted.”

Thorin is survived by his wife of 38 years and their two children. Memorials can be made to the First Covenant Church Feed the Poor ministry.

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