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

Police investigate woman seen at homicide victim’s residence

Police are investigating a woman seen in the apartment of homicide victim Richard W. Whipple before he died last week.

A search warrant has been filed seeking the DNA of a 40-year-old woman who is not cooperating with authorities and has refused to be interviewed, according to court documents. Investigators found blood, a fingernail and fingerprints at the scene.

Neighbors reported a bad odor coming from Whipple’s apartment at 1600 W. Pacific Ave. for a week. Management entered his apartment the morning of Oct. 2 and found it strewn with garbage. Several bags of garbage were removed, but Whipple’s body was not discovered because it was covered with a blanket and several items of clothing, according to court documents.

The Coventry Court Apartments are in a four-story brick building at the corner of Pacific and Maple Street on the edge of Browne’s Addition. Access to the building is controlled by a locked door.

Whipple’s body was found later Oct. 2 in a living room recliner when the smell persisted after the garbage was removed. A pair of scissors was found on Whipple’s chest, according to court documents. The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office said Whipple, 66, was stabbed to death.

Police also found empty beer cans, women’s clothing and feminine hygiene products in the apartment.

Witnesses told police that the woman had been seen at the apartment Sept. 25. She was arrested on an unrelated Department of Corrections warrant Oct. 4 and is currently in the Spokane County Jail, police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said.

The woman has criminal convictions for assault, violating a protection order, obstructing a law enforcement officer and conspiracy to possess a controlled substance.