Neighbors, Family Horrified By SV Homicide

SPOKANE VALLEY — Authorities are trying to figure out who is behind a murder of an eighty-year-old man whose body was left in a closet, hidden under a pile of clothes.

Sheriff Deputies arrived at the home near the intersection of Boone and Wilbur late Saturday evening. There they found the friends of the victim who made a grim discovery.

On Sunday investigators combed through the four lots that the victim owned, looking for anything the murderer and burglar may have left behind when he left the house.

It’s too painful a loss to put into words for Chuck Cato, he’s lived down the street from the victim for the last forty years. Ever since they both retired, they’ve done nearly everything together.

“We’d drink coffee, talk and just be neighbors,” said Cato.

The victim’s 92-year-old girlfriend called Cato Saturday afternoon, concerned because the victim didn’t come to visit her like the two had planned.

“I told her I would go over and see if he was in the house,” said Cato. “I went over there and his car was there and his house was unlocked.”

After one pass through the house, Cato called family members to help him search for the victim. About an hour into the search, he found his friend.

“I don’t know why I looked in the closet, I have no idea,” said Cato. “When I come by the closet, I opened the door and that’s when I saw him.”

The eighty-year-old had been beaten, his lifeless body was covered with clothes.

“I saw his head was bloody, I thought someone beat him to death,” said Cato.

The first responders at the scene painted a similar picture.

“It appears this is a daytime burglary that got out of hand,” said Sgt. Dave Reagan with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. “The suspect encountered victim, the victim put up a fight and now we have a homicide, it’s unfortunate.”

Police say whoever the criminal was had no plans of stopping when he murdered the man.

“We believe there are items missing from the house,” said Sgt. Reagan.

Nevertheless, this senseless crime is hitting this quiet neighborhood pretty hard.

“I’ll get over it,” sobbed Cato.

Police are still trying to solve the crimes. They are asking those with any information regarding the crime to contact police at (509) 242-TIPS.