Murder mystery could be solved more than a century later

A pistol considered to be a century-old murder weapon

SPOKANE, Wash. —  More than 100 years ago, a couple was murdered in Spokane. Back then, law enforcement didn’t have the crucial evidence to close this case.

Thomas Tomalski was the man who pulled the trigger. Then, he told police he threw the gun into the Spokane River.

“I did my research and was like, ‘Oh my gosh’,” said Shaun Bavandpouri, member of H20 Magnet Fortunes.

It all happened August 4, 1919, more than a century ago.

Tomalski was arrested for shooting two of his neighbors in Franklin Flats, on the river just east of Division St.

He said his neighbor, Mr. Grove, had confronted him with a gun. While trying to ge

t the gun away from him, Tomalski said the gun went off, killing Mr. Grove and his wife.

“It had two shots in it out of six, which he mentions shooting four. It’s just a coincidence,” said Bavandpouri.

Tomalski threw the gun into Spokane river and turned himself into police. The gun was never found, until just a few weeks ago.

“I found it in the exact same spot that he threw it in. It looks like it was in the river for 100 years,” Bavandpouri said.

The way it was found may surprise you. Bavandpouri is part of a local group called H20 Magnet Fortunes.

“We go around using strong magnets on the end of ropes to clean out the river basically,” said Bavandpouri.

Along the way, they often find things they weren’t expecting.

“This is probably the coolest honestly so far,” Bavandpouri said.

Possibly discovering a piece of history, more than 100 years later.

“I don’t want to say it’s 100% the same gun, but I mean, it’s pointing in that direction,” said Bavandpouri.