Media Release Information

All information on this page has been requested by media.
 
For all media requesting information: e-mail to 
medexam@spokanecounty.org . Note that this information will be updated periodically Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., media should check back here for updates.

The postmortem report is confidential in the State of Washington (RCW 68.50.105). For family members of the deceased requesting information about obtaining postmortem reports, please call the Medical Examiner's Office at (509) 477-2296 or e-mail to medexam@spokanecounty.org.   

  • Note that this page will be archived in January of each year, archiving all release information from the previous year


                                                                               Toxicology Testing

In most cases the Spokane County Medical Examiner requests a toxicology analysis from the Washington State Toxicology Lab in Seattle. This typically involves sending blood and urine samples to the lab which then screens the samples for selected medications as well as common drugs of abuse and returns a report to our office. In the past this process typically has taken approximately eight to ten weeks, depending on the lab’s work load, staffing, and the complexity of the results.

**Update 08/07/2018**

In 2017, due to staffing and funding issues, the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory began experiencing backlogs with all toxicology results throughout the state. This backlog has continued throughout 2018 with no end in sight.

Unfortunately, the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has been affected by this backlog as have all other Medical Examiners send Coroners in the state. This office is currently unable to estimate the length of time required for toxicology results to  be returned from the Washington State Toxicology Laboratory.


                                                                          Suicide Prevention Information

Approximately 45,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Life line at

1-800-273-8255(TALK) or https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml


                Or Text "Hello" to 741741 to talk with a trained helper at the Crisis Text Line

                                                    Or Call locally to First call for Help Crisis Hotline (509) 838-4428

                                                    Or Call 911

                                                    Or Walk into any hospital emergency room


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

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SPOKANE COUNTY, July 18, 2019

Re: the ongoing investigation at W. Shannon in Spokane, WA

At present time the Medical Examiner's Office has no information available. 

Once information is available it will be posted to this page.

*** Update July 19, 2019

SPOKANE COUNTY, July 19, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the woman who died as the result of an incident in the 1600 block of W. Shannon, in Spokane, WA on July 17, 2019

Name: Alyssa C. Dodd
Age: 20 years
Cause of Death: Blunt head injuries
Manner: Homicide

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SPOKANE COUNTY, July 16, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died at Sacred Heart Medical Center on July 13, 2019 as the result of an incident in Nine Mile Falls, WA on July 13, 2019

Name: Dominic Ortiz Bonilla
Age: 22 years
Cause of Death: fractures of base and vault of skull with brain lacerations due to blunt impact to head
Manner: Accident

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SPOKANE COUNTY, July 10, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the woman who died at Sacred Heart Medical Center on July 7, 2019 as the result of an incident on in the 15000 block of N. Wandermere in Spokane County, WA on July 7, 2019

Name: Misty R. Hirsch
Age: 38 years
Cause of Death:  Gunshot wound to head
Manner: Homicide

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SPOKANE COUNTY, July 8, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the woman who died at Sacred Heart Medical Center on July 6, 2019 as the result of an incident on highway 395 in Stevens County, WA on July 6, 2019

Name: Brianna Arena
Age: 29 years
Cause of Death:  Multiple blunt injuries
Manner: Vehicular accident

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SPOKANE COUNTY, July 8, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the woman who died as the result of an incident in the 500 block of W. Sprague, in Spokane, WA on July 3, 2019

Name: Galina Bridget Hensz
Age: 21 years
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound to head
Manner: Homicide

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, July 8, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died as the result of an incident in the 500 block of W. Sprague, in Spokane, WA on July 3, 2019

Name: Joshua James Bassett
Age: 32 years
Cause of Death: Perforating, contact gunshot wound to head
Manner: Pending

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SPOKANE COUNTY, July 3, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause and manner of death of the man who died as the result of an incident on the south side of TJ Meenach Bridge in Spokane, WA on July 2, 2019

Name: Benjamin J. Cullipher
Age: 56
Cause of Death: Drowning
Contributory Factors: Dilated cardiomyopathy
Manner: Accident

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SPOKANE COUNTY, June 24, 2019 - Identification of the individual found June 12, 2019 at 217 W Spokane Fall Blvd has been confirmed:

Name: Sharon Simpson-White
Age: 64 years
Cause of Death: Pending
Manner: Pending

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SPOKANE COUNTY, June 19, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause and manner of death of the woman who died as the result of an incident in the 300 block of N. River Drive in Spokane, WA on June 18, 2019

Name: Marla Willeen Leander
Age: 74 years
Cause of Death: Drowning due to incapacitation while in water due to diffuse arteritis with marked coronary artery narrowing
Manner: Accident

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SPOKANE COUNTY, June 12, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the woman who died in the Spokane County Jail, in Spokane, WA on June 11, 2019

Name: Sharona Marie Carroll-Camps
Age: 39 years
Cause of Death: Pending toxicology
Manner: Pending

Pending - is a temporary designation for cause and/or manner when additional investigation, information and/or test results are required for certification. Pending is amended once all information and test results are received. 

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SPOKANE COUNTY, June 5, 2019

Re: ongoing Sheriff's investigation in North Spokane (see Sheriff's news flash page: https://www.spokanecounty.org/1080/Sheriff 

At present time the Medical Examiner's Office has no information available. 

Once information is available it will be posted to this page.

*** Update

SPOKANE COUNTY, June 10, 2019

The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the individual who was found at a location on E. Graves in Spokane, WA on 6/4/2019.

Identity as confirmed by fingerprint comparison is “Arezu, no given name” Date of Birth 06/08/1994.

Presumed family name is Kashify.

This death is being investigated as a homicide.

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SPOKANE COUNTY, June 3, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause and manner of death of the man who died near Garland and Normandie in Spokane, WA on June 2, 2019

Name: Christopher Prusch
Age: 42 years
Cause of Death: Fractures of base and vault of skull with lacerations of brain due to blunt impact to head
Manner: Accident

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SPOKANE COUNTY, June 3, 2019 - Identification of the individual found in the Spokane River near the Division Street Bridge on June 1, 2019 has been confirmed:

Name: Richard Grant Coffee
Age: 56 years
Cause of Death: Pending
Manner: Pending

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SPOKANE COUNTY, June 3, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and cause of death of the man who died in the 7000 block of E. Bigelow Gulch on May 30, 2019

Name: David Mark Cholewinski
Age: 61 years
Cause of Death: Perforating gunshot wound to head - mouth
Manner: Suicide

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Spokane County, May 22, 2019 @245 P.M.

This office has received inquiries from media regarding an individual who was recovered from the Spokane River yesterday, 05/21/2019.

Currently, the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has no information to release

This page will be updated when information is available

**** Update May 23, 2019 @ 4:45 p.m.

SPOKANE COUNTY, May 23, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the woman who was recovered in the Spokane River at Huntington Park in Spokane, WA on May 21, 2019. 

Name: Sunquaria B. Noble
Age: 17
Cause of Death: Pending
Manner: Pending


Pending - is a temporary designation for cause and/or manner when additional investigation, information and/or test results are required for certification. Pending is amended once all information and test results are received.

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SPOKANE COUNTY, May 21, 2019

Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office Requests Assistance Identifying a Male Found May 19, 2019 in the Mica Peak Conservation Area – If you have any information please contact the Spokane County Medical Examiner (509) 477-2296 or email at                                    medexam@spokanecounty.org 

Circumstances: This individual was found unresponsive on a bicycle trail on Mica Peak after having been seen earlier cycling up the hill. An autopsy was performed and this is a natural death. He was not carrying any identification.

Approximate Age: in 60’s

HAIR COLOR: Bald on the crown of the head, at the temples of the head the hair is brown with white hair; has a mustache 

HEIGHT: 6’ to 6'2”

WEIGHT: Approximately 200 lbs; husky build

EYE COLOR: Blue

CLOTHING AND PERSONAL ITEMS: This individual is wearing a pair of “Nike” brand bicycle shoes, these are green and black and have orange fasteners over the laces. A pair of lined bicycle shorts which are dark green and black. He is wearing a bicycling t-shirt which is grey with green trim.

He also wore a black helmet and sun glasses.

He was wearing a digital watch, no other jewelry.

**** Update May 23, 2019

SPOKANE COUNTY, May 23, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and cause of death of the man who died at the Mica Peak Conservation Area in Rockford, WA on May 19, 2019. 

Name: Mark Edwin Miller
Age: 66
Cause of Death: Severe atherosclerotic coronary vascular disease with remote myocardial infarct
Contributory Factors: Hypertensive cardiomyopathy
Manner: Natural

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, May 21, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and cause of death of the man who died at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA on May 14, 2019 as the result of an incident in the 700 block of N. Hayford Rd, in Airway Heights, WA on May 11, 2019

Name: Warren Rex Morgan
Age: 60 years
Cause of Death: Cerebral infarcts due to C1-C2 dislocation with bilateral vertebral artery dissections due to blunt impact - neck hyperextension
Manner: Accident

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, May 16, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died in the 2000 block of W. 2nd Ave on May 11, 2019

Name: Jeffrey A. Stephens
Age: 49 years
Cause of Death: Pending
Manner: Pending

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, May 16, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died in the 12000 block of N. Hemlock on May 3, 2019

Name: Dylan J. Siria
Age: 22 years
Cause of Death: Pending
Manner: Pending

_________________________________________________

Media has requested information about the following 2018 reported death of the following individual:

SPOKANE COUNTY, July 25, 2018 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the woman who died at the Spokane County Jail on July 17, 2018.

Name: Cambrea M Bishop
Age: 26 Years
Cause of Death: Pending toxicology
Manner: Pending

Pending - is a temporary designation for cause and/or manner when additional investigation, information and/or test results are required for certification. Pending is amended once all information and test results are received.


 

***Updated May 10, 2019

Cause of Death: Acute pulmonary edema due to probable idiosyncratic drug reaction, possibly buspirone

Manner: Accident

_________________________________________________

Media has requested information about the following 2018 reported death of the following individual:

SPOKANE COUNTY, June 18, 2018 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died at the Spokane County Jail on June 13, 2018.

Name: Shane Alan Carson
Age: 31 Years
Cause of Death: Pending toxicology
Manner: Pending

Pending - is a temporary designation for cause and/or manner when additional investigation, information and/or test results are required for certification. Pending is amended once all information and test results are received.

***Updated October 10, 2018

 Cause of Death: Combined drug toxicity due to simultaneous use of methamphetamine and opiate

Manner: Accident

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, May 6, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died as the result of an
incident near the 2000 block of N. Cherry St., in Spokane Valley, WA on May 4, 2019

Name: Ethan Austin Murray
Age: 25 years
Cause of Death: Multiple gunshot wounds
Manner: Homicide


The death certificate in is a Washington State Health Department Document, NOT a Medical Examiner or Coroner document, the death certification process includes manner of death classification of (Accident, Homicide, Natural, Suicide, Undetermined), intended to describe the action associated with a death, if any, for public health department vital statistics purposes. The manner of death as used by the Office of the Medical Examiner does not address presence or absence of intent, culpability or justification of any action associated with a death and therefore any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary.

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, April 30, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died at Sacred Heart Medical Center on April 29, 2019 as the result of an
incident on E. 5th Ave, in Spokane, WA on April 28, 2019

Name: Jason Allison
Age: 35 years
Cause of Death: Multiple gunshot wounds
Manner: Homicide

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, April 29, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died at Sacred Heart Medical Center as the result of an incident at N. Williams and Trent in Spokane Valley, WA on April 23, 2019

Name: Samuel Michael Warner
Age: 47 years
Cause of Death: Pending
Manner: Pending

***Updated May 24, 2019

Cause of Death: Fat embolism syndrome due to multiple blunt injuries

Manner: Homicide

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, April 26, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the child who died at Sacred Heart Hospital on 04/23/2019 as the result of an
incident at a public park in Pendleton, OR on April 21, 2019

Name: Kyone Yaaka Azure
Age: 2 years
Cause of Death: hypoxic encephalopathy due to cardiopulmonary arrest due to near drowning

Manner: Accident

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, April 26, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died in the 1300 block of W. Providence, in Spokane, WA on April 19, 2019

Name: Brian James Steve
Age: 36 years
Cause of Death: Intraoral gunshot wound of the head
Manner: Suicide

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, April 24, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who collapsed across the street from 397 N. Post St. in Spokane, WA on April 23, 2019:

Name: Jeffrey David Sausser

Age: 47 Years

Medical Examiner reviewed investigative information and released jurisdiction. This was a witnessed collapse from natural causes.

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, April 24, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause and manner of death of the man who died near the intersection of  E. Broadway Ave and N. Eastern Rd in Spokane Valley, WA on April 23, 2019

Name: Gary E. Grzogorek
Age: 44 years
Cause of Death: Lacerations of heart and aorta due to blunt impact to chest
Contributory Factors: Lung, liver, kidney, and bowel lacerations, spinal column and pelvic fractures
Manner: Accident

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, April 16, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died at Holy Family Hospital on April 14, 2019 as the result of an
incident at Columbia Dr. and Deschutes Ave in Kennewick, WA on April 3, 2019

Name: Stanley Moreman
Age: 71 years
Cause of Death: Complications of rib fractures
Contributory Factors: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Manner: Vehicular Accident

Any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary; nor is the manner of death as determined by a Medical Examiner the same as the prosecutor's legal determination, for example, most motor vehicle deaths are classified as "accident " by the Medical Examiner, however the prosecutor may pursue a legal charge of "vehicular homicide".

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, April 9, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died in the 2000 block of Park Rd, in Spokane, WA on April 6, 2019

Name: Rex C. Porter
Age: 61 years
Cause of Death: Pending
Manner: Pending

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, April 5, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the woman who died in the 4000 block of E. Upriver Dr., in Spokane, WA on April 3, 2019

Name: Edna Patricia Hernandez AKA: Edna Patricia Rodriguez-Gomez
Age: 47 years
Cause of Death: Multiple stab wounds
Manner: Homicide

The death certificate in is a Washington State Health Department Document, NOT a Medical Examiner or Coroner document, the death certification process includes manner of death classification of (Accident, Homicide, Natural, Suicide, Undetermined), intended to describe the action associated with a death, if any, for public health department vital statistics purposes. The manner of death as used by the Office of the Medical Examiner does not address presence or absence of intent, culpability or justification of any action associated with a death and therefore any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary.


_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, March 15, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the woman who died in the 30000 block of Starr Rd, in Newport, WA on March 10, 2019

Name: Ethel J. Korbel
Age: 77 years
Cause of Death: Pending
Manner: Pending

**** Update March 10, 2019

Cause of Death: Hypothermia
Manner: Accident

_________________________________________________
SPOKANE COUNTY, March 15, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died in the 30000 block of Starr Rd, in Newport, WA on March 10, 2019

Name: Frank J. Korbel
Age: 79 years
Cause of Death: Pending
Manner: Pending

**** Update March 10, 2019

Cause of Death: Probable cardiac dysrhythmia due to stenosis of aortic valve of heart                                                               Contributory Factors: Hypertensive cardiomyopathy, atherosclerotic coronary vascular disease
Manner: Natural

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, March 15, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause and manner of death of the man who died on State Route 904, in Cheney, WA on March 10, 2019

Name: Charles Vincent Mutschler
Age: 63 years
Cause of Death: Aortic laceration with hemothoraces due to blunt impact to torso
Contributory Factors: Spinal column fractures, rib fractures
Manner: Accident

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, February 15, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died at Sacred Heart Hospital on 02/11/2019 as the result of an
incident in at I-90 near mile post 280 in Spokane, WA on February 11, 2019

Name: Gage P. Borgwardt
Age: 19 years
Cause of Death: penetrating gunshot wound to head (mouth)

Manner: Suicide

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 31, 2019 - Identification of the individual found in the Spokane River on January 30, 2019 has not yet been established. 

This page will be updated once information is available.

*** UPDATE

SPOKANE COUNTY, February 27, 2019 - Identification of the individual found in the Spokane River on January 30, 2019 has been confirmed:

Name: Loc Dinh Tuyet Nguyen
Age: 24 years
Cause of Death: Pending
Manner: Pending

*** UPDATE

SPOKANE COUNTY, June 19, 2019 - Cause and Manner of Death have been confirmed of the individual found in the Spokane River on January 30, 2019:

Name: Loc Dinh Tuyet Nguyen
Age: 24 years
Cause of Death: Drowning
Manner: Undetermined

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 29, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died in the 2000 block of 4th Ave, in Spokane, WA on October 26, 2017

Name: Anthony Marino
Age: 69 years
Cause of Death: combined drug toxicity due to simultaneous use of methadone and benzodiazepines
Manner: Accident

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 28, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died at Sacred Heart Hospital on 01/25/2019 as the result of an
incident in at 57th and Hailee in Spokane, WA on January 25, 2019

Name: Andrew W. Vathis
Age: 51 years
Cause of Death: Blunt head, chest, abdominal and extremity injuries
Manner: Vehicular Accident

Any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary; nor is the manner of death as determined by a Medical Examiner the same as the prosecutor's legal determination, for example, most motor vehicle deaths are classified as "accident " by the Medical Examiner, however the prosecutor may pursue a legal charge of "vehicular homicide".

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 24, 2019 @ 317 P.M.

Re: ongoing investigation in the 2100 block of E. Cataldo. 

At present time the Medical Examiner's Office has not been called out to this investigation, this office currently has no information available. 

Once information is available it will be posted to this page.

*** Update January 28, 2019 @ 1015 A.M. - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the woman who died as the result of an incident in the 2100 block of E. Cataldo, in Spokane, WA on January 24, 2019

Name: Christina M. Powell
Age: 48 years
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound to head
Manner: Homicide

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 24, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died as the result of an
incident in the 3000 block of N. Monroe, in Spokane, WA on January 23, 2019

Name: Dwight Steward
Age: 46 years
Cause of Death: Multiple gunshot wounds
Manner: Homicide


The death certificate in is a Washington State Health Department Document, NOT a Medical Examiner or Coroner document, the death certification process includes manner of death classification of (Accident, Homicide, Natural, Suicide, Undetermined), intended to describe the action associated with a death, if any, for public health department vital statistics purposes. The manner of death as used by the Office of the Medical Examiner does not address presence or absence of intent, culpability or justification of any action associated with a death and therefore any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary.

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 16, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the woman who died at Sacred Heart Hospital on 01/12/2019 as the result of an
incident in at Silver Lake Rd & Granite Lake Rd in Medical Lake, WA on January 11, 2019

Name: Brenda Renee Gabriel
Age: 56 years
Cause of Death: Basilar skull fracture with brain contusions due to blunt impact to head
Manner: Accident

Any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary; nor is the manner of death as determined by a Medical Examiner the same as the prosecutor's legal determination, for example, most motor vehicle deaths are classified as "accident " by the Medical Examiner, however the prosecutor may pursue a legal charge of "vehicular homicide".

_________________________________________________

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 8, 2019 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause of death of the man who died as the result of an
incident in the 600 block of Montgomery Ave, in Spokane, WA on January 7, 2019

Name: David M. Novak
Age: 35 years
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound of the chest
Manner: Homicide


The death certificate in is a Washington State Health Department Document, NOT a Medical Examiner or Coroner document, the death certification process includes manner of death classification of (Accident, Homicide, Natural, Suicide, Undetermined), intended to describe the action associated with a death, if any, for public health department vital statistics purposes. The manner of death as used by the Office of the Medical Examiner does not address presence or absence of intent, culpability or justification of any action associated with a death and therefore any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary.

_________________________________________________








.





Definitions:

Cause of Death:
Cause of Death is used to indicate the medical cause of death, listing the disease(s) or injuries that caused death. Specific cause of death information is recorded on the death certificate and is entered into the Washington State Vital Statistic system.

Manner of Death:
Manner of Death is a statistical classification on the death certificate, the way in which death is categorized per the Washington State Department of Health (Accident, Homicide, Natural, Suicide, Undetermined).

Death Certification:
The Death certificate is a Washington State Health Department Document, NOT a Medical Examiner or Coroner document, the death certification process includes manner of death classification of (Accident, Homicide, Natural, Suicide, Undetermined), intended to describe the action associated with a death, if any, for public health department vital statistics purposes. The manner of death as used by the Office of the Medical Examiner does not address presence or absence of intent, culpability or justification of any action associated with a death and therefore any determination by the Medical Examiner of Suicide, Accident or Homicide in no way limits the ability of law enforcement to investigate to whatever extent they deem appropriate or necessary; nor is the manner of death as determined by a Medical Examiner the same as the prosecutor's legal determination, for example, most motor vehicle deaths are classified as "accident " by the Medical Examiner, however the prosecutor may pursue a legal charge of "vehicular homicide".

Accident - is defined as a death other than natural, where there is no evidence of intent, i.e. unintentional.

Homicide - is defined as a death due to the acts of another.

Natural - is defined as a death solely by organic disease. If natural death is hastened by injury (such as a fall), the manner of death will not be considered natural.

Pending - is a temporary designation for cause and/or manner when additional investigation, information and/or test results are required for certification. Pending is amended once all information and test results are received. 

Suicide - is defined as a death as the result of a purposeful action, with intent (explicit or implicit) to end one's life.

                 Suicide Prevention Information

Approximately 45,000 people die by suicide each year in the United States.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and may be experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Life line at

1-800-273-8255(TALK) or https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml     

 

Text "Hello" to 741741 to talk with a trained helper at the Crisis Text Line Or

Call locally to First call for Help Crisis Hotline 

(509) 838-4428 Or

                                                                                                   Call 911 Or  

                            

Walk into any hospital emergency room

Undetermined - is the manner of death assigned when there is insufficient evidence or information to assign to accident, homicide, suicide or natural categories, or when 2 plausible manners are equally likely.

* When a death is un-witnessed the date of discovery is recorded as the date of death.

* See the Medical Examiner's Annual Report for details regarding causes and manner of death is Spokane County. 


The postmortem report is confidential in the State of Washington (RCW 68.50.105). For information about obtaining postmortem reports, please call the Medical Examiner's Office at (509) 477-2296 or e-mail to medexam@spokanecounty.org.