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

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                                                                                                             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE

SPOKANE COUNTY MEDICAL EXAMINERS’ OFFICE

FEBRUARY 1, 2021

 

The Spokane County Medical Examiners’ Office is seeking the help of the public in identifying a male who died outdoors on 11/28/20 at 1406 E. Front Street, Spokane.  The death is still being investigated, and a cause of death has not been determined.  The body was partially burned, obscuring the examination and identification.

 

Pertinent physical features:

 

Male, slight build, approximately 5’7’’, estimated 115-135 pounds.   Pants are size 32/32.

 

Light-skinned, short hair.  Probably transient. Poor dentition. Estimated age 35-60 years.

 

Attached is a photograph of what are believed to be the shoes of the unidentified male.  Shoe size is 9.

 

Also attached is a drawing depicting the unidentified male’s facial characteristics.   The drawing was prepared by volunteer Forensic Artist, Carl Koppelman, based on the autopsy appearance of the unknown man.

 

If any member of the public has information about the possible identification of this man, please contact the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office at 509-477-2296 or via email at medexam@spokanecounty.org.

                                                                  

ShoesArtist rendering                             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

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SPOKANE COUNTY, April 14, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died at the 1400 block of Celesta Ave in Spokane, WA on April 12, 2021

Name: Blane Peterson
Age: 35 years
Cause of Death: gunshot wound of head
Manner: Suicide

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SPOKANE COUNTY, April 14, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the woman who died at the 5100 block of Adams St in Spokane, WA on April 11, 2021

Name: Kassie Dewey
Age: 35 years
Cause of Death: multiple stab wounds-torso, head, upper extremities
Manner: Homicide

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SPOKANE COUNTY, April 6, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died in the 9700 block of E 6th Ave in Spokane Valley, WA on March 29, 2021

Name: Preston Grzogorek
Age: 15 years
Cause of Death: gunshot wound to chest
Manner: Homicide

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SPOKANE COUNTY, April 1, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who was found in the Spokane River, in Spokane WA on March 26, 2021

Name: Louis Steven Fauteaux
Age: 52 years
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, March 23, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died at the Spokane County Jail in Spokane, WA on March 22, 2021

Name: Stanley Mudge
Age: 54 years
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, March 12, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died in the 6100 block of N Douglas Dr in Spokane, WA on January 29, 2021

Name: Todd Sterkel
Age: 52 years
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, March 3, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died in the Spokane River near the Monroe Street Bridge in Spokane, WA on February 26, 2021

Name: Michael Jech
Age: 30 years
Cause of Death: multiple blunt injuries
Manner: Suicide

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SPOKANE COUNTY, February 23, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the woman who died in the 1100 block of W. Sharp in Spokane, WA on February 17, 2021

Name: Jenny Jones
Age: 46 years
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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Media has made a request for an update on this 2020 case:

SPOKANE COUNTY, February 16, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity of the man who died as the result of an incident in the 1500 block of W. Courtland in Spokane, WA on October 19, 2020

Name: John W. McGrath
Age: 63 years
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, February 8, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause and manner of death of the man who died at  as the result of an incident in the 900 block of Beige Lane in Spokane Valley, WA on February 7, 2021 

Name: Owar O. Opiew
Age: 16 years
Cause of Death: Multiple gunshot wounds
Manner: Homicide

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

*** Update 2/18/2021 - this office previously reported the age of this individual as 18 years of age, this was an error, the correct age is 16 years.

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SPOKANE COUNTY, February 2, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause and manner of death of the man who died at Sacred Heart Medical Center as the result of an incident in Valley, WA on February 1, 2021 

Name: Christopher Bell
Age: 37 years
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound to head
Manner: Homicide

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

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Media has made a request for an update on this 2020 case:

SPOKANE COUNTY, February 1, 2021 - 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 in the 200 block of W. Sprague in Spokane, WA on May 20, 2020

Name: Wilbur Goodwin Tankersley
Age: 35 years
Cause of Death: Blunt Head Injuries
Manner: Homicide 

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

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Media has made a request for an update on this 2020 case:

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 29, 2021 - The Spokane County Medical Examiner has confirmed the identity and the cause and manner of death of the man who died at Sacred Heart Medical Center on September 24, 2020 as the result of an incident in the 3300 block of E. Carlisle in Spokane, WA on September 24, 2020

Name: Jacquon D. Bailey
Age: 18 years
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound of the chest
Manner: Homicide 

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

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Media has made a request for an update on this 2020 case:

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 27, 2021 - 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 at 50 block of S Madelia, in Spokane, WA on December 27, 2020

Name: Joeseph Buskirk
Age: 41 years
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound of the chest
Manner: Homicide 

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

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Media has made a request for an update on this 2020 case:

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 27, 2021 - 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 at 1600 block of N Monroe St in Spokane, WA on June 23, 2020

Name:Lee Williams
Age: 34years
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound of the head
Manner: Homicide 

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

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Media has made a request for an update on this 2020 case:

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 27, 2021 - 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 at 900 block of West 2nd Ave in Spokane, WA on April 3, 2020

Name: Andrew Bull
Age: 29 years
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound of the head
Manner: Homicide 

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

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Media has made a request for an update on this 2020 case:

SPOKANE COUNTY, January 27, 2021 - 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 at 1200 W Francis Ave in Spokane, WA on March 31, 2020

Name: Nancy Roylance
Age: 80 years
Cause of Death: Dehydration; due to immobilization; due to femur fracture
Manner: Accident

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SPOKANE COUNTY, January 26, 2021 - 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 at 19000 S Latah Creek Rd in Valleyford, WA on January 25, 2021

Name: Charles Dunn
Age: 76years
Cause of Death: Blunt head, neck, chest, and abdominal injuries
Manner: Accident

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SPOKANE COUNTY, January 14, 2021 - 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 at at W. 27th Ave. and S. Post St. in Spokane, WA on January 13, 2021 

Name: Melanie Sanborn
Age: 42 years
Cause of Death: Blunt force injuries
Manner: Accident

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SPOKANE COUNTY, January 13, 2021 - 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 at the intersection of Cincinnati St and Olympic Ave, in Spokane WA on January 10, 2020 

Name: Melissa Morrow
Age: 41 years
Cause of Death: crush injury of the head
Manner: Accident

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SPOKANE COUNTY, January 8, 2021 - 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 in the 600 block of S Park Rd in Spokane Valley, WA on December 31, 2020 

Name: Christopher Smith
Age: 35 years
Cause of Death: gunshot wound to chest
Manner: Homicide

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

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SPOKANE COUNTY, January 8, 2021 - 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 in the N Ash St and W Queen in Spokane, WA on January 5, 2020 

Name: Shawn McCoy
Age: 36 years
Cause of Death: multiple gunshot wounds
Manner: Homicide

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

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SPOKANE COUNTY, January 5, 2021 - 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 in the 50 block of S Madelia in Spokane, WA on December 27, 2020 

Name: Joseph Buskirk
Age: 41 years
Cause of Death: gunshot wound of the chest
Manner: Homicide

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

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                                 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

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.

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.

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

                                     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.

                         



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.