Murder suspect trying to figure out how his friend died

Yukio Rideb sits in the Spokane County Jail trying to figure out why he got into a fight with his close friend Romero Vivit after a late night of barhopping across downtown Spokane, trying to figure out how his friend ended up dead and him being charged with his murder.

As he sits in jail, charged with 2nd Degree Murder for his friend’s death, he answers questions without hesitation, explaining what he can remember from what happened Friday night when he, his sister and his friend Romero Vivit went out drinking at several bars across downtown Spokane.

Yukio Rideb said that he first met Romero Vivit when they attended North Central High School.

“We practically dropped out of school with each other; he was a year above me. We had a lot in common when we first met,” Rideb said. “For a couple years we were pretty inseparable.”

Vivit moved away from Spokane with his mother in 2009 but came back to the area; while they were good friends Rideb said they hadn’t been able to see much of each other recently.

“Just recently I’ve been working a lot so I haven’t had as much time to hang out with him,” Rideb said, explaining that he’d also been spending time with his baby and his girlfriend. However, he added, when the two friends were able to get together, “Any time we hang out together it’s just like old times.”

On Friday Rideb and his sister went out to a bar in downtown Spokane. At one point he got a call from Vivit and another friend who they met up with and started bar hopping across downtown Spokane.

“They ended up meeting us with us at PJs and we end up going to downtown with them. I remember going to one bar, Mootsy’s downtown, we had another drink there and that’s about the last thing I remember before I blacked out,” Rideb said.

Yukio says they went to another bar before 1 a.m. Authorities say that the last time Romero Vivit was seen alive he was leaving the Revolver Bar around 2 a.m. What happened next comes in bits and pieces to Yukio, who says that he only remembers a few fleeting moments, the results of blacking out from drinking.

“I know we did get into a fight because I have scrapes on my hands ? but as far as disposing of him, I wouldn’t have disposed of my friend,” he says. “I remember coming to after being blacked out and I was beating up on him for some reason and I couldn’t recognize his face until I looked at his shoes ’cause I remembered those shoes his mother bought him a couple months ago.”

“I don’t remember the conversation we were having before we got into the altercation, because we’ve had this beef before in the past but it’s never come to blows, we never fought each other over anything ? we’ve never had any big disputes.”

Yukio says that Romero was on the ground crying and he sat with him for a while to try and get him off the ground; Yukio says he told his roommate that he was “going to get [Romero] home safely.”

However that didn’t happen. Rideb said that he left his friend in Riverfront Park to go charge his cell phone around 3 a.m. Another friend went back to the park to check on Romero Vivit around 5 a.m. and he wasn’t where they left him. Vivit wasn’t seen or heard from again and his friend was the last one to see him alive.

“After blacking out Friday night, leaving him there in the park, that was my last recollection of seeing him, he was alive,” Rideb said. “I was the last person to see him so I have to deal with it, deal with the consequences. As far as me thinking I’m guilty, I don’t think I did this. I don’t believe I had any part in this.”

Tuesday morning, several hours after Spokane Major Crimes detectives put up crime scene tape at the Looff Carousel, where bloody clothing was found on the ground; Yukio Rideb went in for an interview with detectives. He took a polygraph test at 10 a.m. and talked with a detective for several hours and “just tried to figure out what happened” he says.

“I got out of the interview at about I want to say three o’clock, probably about 2:30, and I ended up walking to the bus stop and I get a call back and I come back to his office and they said they found a body and you know placed under arrest at that point in time,” Rideb said.

After more than an hour of searching the Spokane River along the banks of Riverfront Park Tuesday afternoon, two members with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office dive team placed a marker in the water where they found Romero Vivit’s body.

“I was hoping that a body wouldn’t turn up but you know three days afterward it’s really a good chance there’s gonna be a body that shows up ? I was hoping we were going to find him. We didn’t know where he was at,” Rideb said.

Yukio Rideb admits he has an alcohol problem; when he was a freshman in high school he overdosed on medications in a suicide attempt. Ever since then, he says his body hasn’t been able to process alcohol correctly. When he and Romero Vivit would go out to parties they’d get drunk and they got into fights, but nothing as serious as they would go to blows like what happened last Friday night.

“When I last seen him he was alive I guess he was crying and I wish I could remember the conversation we had between us so I would have a better indication of why we got into a fight like that,” Yukio said.

Things should have gone differently last Friday, Yukio said. He was supposed to begin treatment for alcohol abuse last Friday, but didn’t have the money to begin treatment. Instead he went out drinking with his friends, one of whom ended up dead in the Spokane River and Yukio charged with his death.

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