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Cheney Man's Body Found In Burned Car | Crime

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Cheney Man's Body Found In Burned Car
Crime, News

Detectives are investigating the killing of a Cheney man after firefighters, responding to an overnight car fire on Forker Road near Bigelow Gulch, discovered a man's body in the trunk.

A passerby called 911 to report a burning car around 12:30 a.m. Car fires are a common occurrence on the steep roads that climb Mt. Spokane, so when District 9 fire crews responded to the car fire call Wednesday morning they probably thought they were responding to another routine service call.

The firefighters were able to extinguish the car quickly and it became anything but a routine call when they discovered a in the trunk of the car. 
"They had responded to a car on fire. When they got up here they found a body in the trunk," Lieutenant Earl Howerton with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said.

If the killer was hoping the fire would cover their tracks it didn't work. Damage to the car and victim was minimal and detectives think they already know the man's identity.

"The body will most likely get an autopsy today or tomorrow so we can verify who the person might be. We've called the possible victim's family so they're aware what we're doing," Lieutenant Steve Barbieri of the Spokane County Sheriff's Office said.

Detectives quickly tracked down the man's ex-wife or girlfriend after they learned the victim had recently been awarded custody of their one-year-old child. 

"We'll talk to her, see what's going on, see if her story checks out with other information before we label her as a suspect. She's just being interviewed as a person who knows our possible victim," Barbieri added.

The victim lives in or around Cheney and is described as a man in his early thirties. Investigators say he doesn't have a criminal drug history and there are no easy answers for why he was killed.

"We do know the registered owner lives outside the Spokane area and the vehicle's a long way from there, so we're trying to figure out why it's this far out and parked in front of a house up the street," Barbieri said.

Detectives don't think that house has anything to do with this killing because it's vacant. They do feel that someone was trying to get the body to a much more remote area and something kept them from going any further.

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