Questions about a body discovered last week at a west Spokane recycling center have led police to a home on the lower South Hill.
Stephanie A. Standen, 79, who was discovered by Waste Management staff April 5 in an area of the facility where workers process the trucks’ contents, is believed to have been transported to the center on a garbage truck.
In a search warrant filed Wednesday in Spokane Superior Court, Spokane police Detective Christopher Bode wrote that, with the help of Waste Management supervisors, officers traced the garbage truck’s route to a home on the 100 block of West 15th Avenue, directly east of Roosevelt Elementary School.
The home, according to court documents, was listed as the last known address for a woman who was reported missing by Adult Protective Services sometime in the past few weeks.
A background check of Standen revealed the woman lived much of her adult life in the St. Paul, Minnesota, area with time spent in Kalispell. According to her neighbors, the woman moved into the rental house late last year with a man.
When police searched the residence on Friday and Saturday, they found evidence of bloodstains on the living room and kitchen floors, bloodstains on the recycling bin outside, glass fragments in the driveway and a broken picture frame in the office area. They also found a bloodstained T-shirt in the living room and a fingernail on the office floor.
Court records say Standen’s roommate told detectives that Standen had been missing for “approximately three weeks,” but believes he heard her in her bedroom three or four days before police came to the home. The man said he wasn’t her relative and wasn’t close with her.
During the interview, police noted scratches on the man’s face under his left eye and on his right arm, according to court documents. He told them he received them while pruning a neighbor’s yard. They also noticed glass missing from a broken picture frame and cleaning supplies on the bathroom countertop.
There had been no arrest as of Wednesday night.
When the woman was discovered on a conveyor belt of the Spokane Materials and Recycling Technology Center, 2902 S. Geiger Blvd., she was naked and had “several injuries” to her body, including “massive amounts of damage to the head,” Bode wrote in the search warrant. The body had limited signs of decomposition.
During the autopsy, detectives noted there were injuries to Standen’s head and hands that were suffered prior to her death. According to a news release from the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office, a cause and manner of death has yet to be determined.
The medical examiner has not been able to locate next of kin, and asks anyone with information to contact the office at (509) 477-2296 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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