Prosecutors Desk 1-20-13
A few weeks ago, county law enforcement was called to a residence in the county where they found a man deceased. He was found without clothes and had obviously suffered a significant loss of blood from a head wound. It appeared that someone had tried to clean up the scene.
Law enforcement talked with the wife of the deceased. She said she knew he had been injured but she did not know how. She was unsure of when the injury had occurred, but believed it had been about two days ago. She said she had tried to clean up the blood, and had washed the clothes that he had been wearing. She seemed to have a good memory of events distant in time, but was not very clear about when things more recent in time had happened.
The scene was protected and investigated in detail to try and gather all the information possible and to preserve evidence of what had happened as the investigation continued into this gentleman’s death.
Further talk with the wife of the deceased and the neighbors gleaned information that revealed there was not any hostility between the two people, but they had both been slowly losing mental ability.
The Spokane Medical Examiners office performed an autopsy and noted a large cut on the back of the man’s head and a few other scrapes and bruises. The final report is not available yet with a determination of all the facts involved, but it was clear to the medical examiner that the death was not a homicide.
At the end of the day, what initially appeared to be a homicide was not a homicide. These two elderly persons were declining and probably getting along ok till he got hurt. The woman did not realize the seriousness of the injury and the blood loss and did not summon help. What could have been easily treated at an emergency room or clinic turned into a needless death.
It is a good thing for people to live in their home as long as they are able, but in this case two persons were caring for each other and were not able to handle a problem in the right way.
If you have elderly neighbors or family, please be alert to their situation and keep in touch with them. We need to look out for each other; particularly we need to look out for our vulnerable seniors just as we do our children.