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Spokane man accused of murdering father, leaving body in bathtub

Matthew C. Bossard, left, appears in Spokane County District Court on Monday, Nov. 13, 2014. He is accused of murdering his father in the family’s home north of Spokane. (Chad Sokol / The Spokesman-Review)
Matthew C. Bossard, left, appears in Spokane County District Court on Monday, Nov. 13, 2014. He is accused of murdering his father in the family’s home north of Spokane. (Chad Sokol / The Spokesman-Review)

A 35-year-old man is accused of murdering his father and leaving the corpse in a bathtub in the family’s home north of Spokane.

Matthew C. Bossard was arrested Thursday in connection with the death of his father, Robert Bossard, whose age was not immediately available. A judge set the younger Bossard’s bond at $1 million during a court hearing Monday afternoon.

According to court documents, Robert Bossard’s body was discovered by a caregiver who arrived at the home Thursday morning.

The caregiver had been going to the residence, at 8610 N. Whitehouse Drive, for about two weeks to assist Robert Bossard’s widow, Karen, who suffers from multiple medical conditions and relies on a walker to get around, according to court documents.

On Thursday morning, the caregiver grew anxious as she waited on the front porch, according to court documents. She had arrived at the usual time and saw cars parked outside, indicating Bossard and her family were home. But knocks went unanswered.

When Karen Bossard finally opened the door, her first words were “He’s dead,” according to court documents.

At first, the caregiver thought maybe the dead man was Matthew, whom she suspected was a heavy drug user, based on his behavior during arguments she had witnessed between him and his father.

But as the caregiver made her way inside, past a distraught Karen and toward the bathroom on the main floor, Matthew emerged from downstairs and told her not to go in there, according to court documents. She went in anyway and discovered Robert’s body face-up in the tub, with a gunshot wound to the forehead. At about 9:15 a.m., she called 911.

Sheriff’s deputies later noted in court documents that there was blood “all over” the floor and walls of the bathroom, suggesting he did not commit suicide and fall down in place.

One deputy found “what appeared to be high-speed blood splatter on the base of the toilet,” as well as a bloody pipe that appeared to be a handrail for disabled people, not attached to a wall, according to court documents.

The gun, a 9 mm, was found in a plastic garbage bag on the bathroom vanity, along with a spent casing and a magazine with 12 rounds in it – all “in pristine condition with no visible blood anywhere on them,” suggesting Robert Bossard could not have pulled the trigger himself, according to court documents.

Strangely, court documents state, there was a “pinkish powder” all over the floor and on the body.

Matthew Bossard was present as deputies conducted their initial sweep of the residence. A deputy found him coming in the back door with a box of items, and Bossard explained that he intended to burn the items in the fireplace, according to court documents. Deputies suspected he was getting rid of drugs.

While executing a search warrant, deputies found a shovel and “a large plastic bag that resembled a body bag” in the backyard, according to court documents.

During an interview at the Public Safety Building, Bossard denied he had killed his father, telling detectives he was in the hallway when he heard a bang and entered the bathroom to find his father slumped against a wall.

Bossard told detectives he was worried about the blood on the floor, so he put on latex gloves and gathered cleaning supplies. He said he tried to soak up the blood with some pink decorative sand that he found in another room. He never called 911 or tried to render aid, according to court documents.

The detectives also found Bossard to be “extremely paranoid.” During the interview, he said he loved his father yet described him as a verbally abusive drunk. He said his father had threatened to kick him out of the house the night before.

“He described many incidents where his dad would yell at him for reasons he felt weren’t warranted,” a detective wrote. “He told us he felt his father neglected his mother and didn’t take care of her as he should.”

Bossard also speculated that his father was to blame for an ex-girlfriend’s miscarriage, as well as “drugged” Oreo cookies and “strange” ingredients listed on lotion bottles in the house, according to court documents.

Bossard’s criminal history includes arson and burglary, as well as drug- and weapons-related convictions. In 2014, he and a woman were accused of attempting to burn down a Eugene, Oregon, pizza shop with moonshine.

Appearing by video feed from the Spokane County Jail, Bossard hung his head during most of Monday’s court hearing, apparently to hide his face out of the frame. His attorney did not argue against the $1 million bond or other release conditions requested by a prosecutor.

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