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

Burglars find body after breaking into garage

UPDATED: Tue., Oct. 20, 2020

An inmate in Whitman County Jail told police earlier this month she found a body in a garage in Valleyford, just south of Spokane.

Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies searched the property and found the homeowner’s body in the garage, according to court records.

Ashley Baird was arrested on a bench warrant for failing to appear in court earlier this month. She then told Whitman County Sheriff’s Deputies about finding the body earlier this summer while attempting to burglarize a house in Valleyford, according to court records.

Baird told deputies that at the end of August or beginning of September she and an “associate” had been driving on Valley Chapel Road when their car overheated. The pair pulled over at a nearby house hoping to get water for their car but quickly noticed the house looked abandoned, Baird told deputies.

They decided to enter the house to see if anything was worth taking and discovered the glass in the back door had already been broken out, according to court document.

The home was in disarray and had likely already been burglarized, Baird told deputies. Later that night, Baird and her associate returned to see what was inside the unattached shop on the property.

The shop door was unlocked and the pair entered to find a silver Chrysler 300 in the bay furthest from the door, according to court documents. When the pair opened the car door, they found a body, Baird told police.

Baird said they “freaked out” and left the scene quickly, not wanting to be associated with the death, court records say.

After learning of Baird’s discovery, Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies went to investigate. The homeowner was listed as an officer safety candidate because of statements made threatening to shoot police if they came on the property, according to court records.

A deputy had attempted to contact the homeowner on Sept. 30 but was unsuccessful.

Deputies went to the address intending to do a welfare check and found the main house in disarray as Baird described, according to court documents. When deputies approached the shop they found the door latch was broken but could see the silver sedan through the window.

A search warrant was issued for the property and the body was eventually discovered. The Spokane County Medical Examiner ruled the homeowner’s death as a suicide.

National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800- 273-8255 or Text “HEAL” to 741741 Crisis Text Line. For more information on suicide prevention and additional resources visit the Washington State Department of Health Website. 

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