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Sunday, May 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Spokane police investigating homicide in Emerson-Garfield after body found Wednesday

UPDATED: Fri., March 27, 2020

Spokane police began investigating a homicide in the Emerson-Garfield neighborhood after a body was located inside a duplex Wednesday.

The landlord for the duplex at 328 W. Euclid Ave. found the body of 49-year-old Joseph Mathang after the other duplex tenant reported Mathang’s mail was stacking up and there was a strange smell coming from inside his residence, according to court documents and the police department. Spokane Fire Department paramedics reported the body was on a couch and covered by a blanket.

Mathang’s body showed injuries consistent with “homicidal violence,” court documents show. The neighbor said he had not seen Mathang since Wednesday or Thursday of last week.

But the neighbor said he then noticed a smell coming from Mathang’s residence about a day after he last saw Mathang, according to court documents.

He said he didn’t hear any strange noises coming from the residence and could normally hear Mathang’s phone ring through the walls.

The landlord told police Mathang lived alone in the residence for almost five years, but other people stayed there frequently despite their names not being on the lease, according to court documents. Mathang’s neighbor said he had not seen anyone else staying with Mathang for a couple weeks.

No arrests have been made related to the investigation, according to Spokane police Sgt. Terry Preuninger.

Mathang was awaiting trial on a February second-degree domestic violence assault charge, according to court records.

People with information about the incident or who contacted Mathang recently may call Spokane Police Detective Randy Lesser at (509) 625-4016 in reference to report No. 2020-20051605.

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