Northwest briefly: Dead man likely attacker in slaying

  • Sun Jul 18th, 2010 10:52pm
  • News

SPOKANE VALLEY — A SWAT team searching for a man wanted in an early Sunday morning attack that left a woman dead and her 9-year-old son on life support found the body of a man at the suspect’s eastern Washington home, authorities said.

Detectives couldn’t immediately confirm the dead man’s identity, but they believe the body found at about 5 p.m. belonged to the suspect, 39-year-old Jan R. Demeerleer. It appeared that the man had died from a gunshot wound, a Spokane Valley police statement said.

Earlier Sunday, police warned that Demeerleer could be headed to Idaho.

The attack happened at the woman’s home at around 3 a.m. Sunday, police Sgt. Dave Reagan said. Officers arrived at the home to find the woman dead and two boys — ages 9 and 17 — hurt.

The 17-year-old boy told police he awoke to a man slashing his neck with a knife. The teen called 911, telling the dispatcher “his stepdad had attempted to cut his throat and had killed his mom,” Reagan said.

Reagan said the 9-year-old boy suffered a severe head injury. Both boys were taken to a Spokane hospital. Police said the 9-year-old has a twin brother, who was uninjured.

Detectives believe the woman died of a gunshot wound, the police statement said.

The woman had been living with Demeerleer at some point and they were engaged to be married, Reagan said. There had been some kind of dispute between the couple involving the children, he said.

The two 9-year-old boys were the woman’s and Demeerleer had a 17-year-old daughter who was out of town Sunday, according to Reagan. He said the 17-year-old boy called Demeerleer his stepdad.

Tacoma: Harrrows Bridge tolls may stay the same until 2012

Transportation officials are hopeful there won’t be a toll increase on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge until 2012 despite lower than hoped revenues.

The News Tribune of Tacoma says revenues on the bridge fell $1.2 million short of expectations in the 2010 fiscal year. That has led to talk of raising the fee to cross the bridge for 2011.

But state transportation commission member Richard Ford said the short-term outlook is promising, giving hope that the 2011 rates will remain flat. Future budgets aren’t as promising, leading to the belief rates will go up in 2012.

It currently costs $4 for passenger vehicles to cross; $2.75 with an electronic tolling transponder.

Nearly 14.3 million cars crossed the bridge during the 2010 fiscal year and revenue was at $47 million, including $45 million from tolls.

Wapato: Homeless shelter nearing closure

The lone homeless shelter in the Lower Yakima Valley could be on the verge of closing after the building where it’s located went into default.

Noah’s Ark opened nearly three years ago. It typically serves 30 to 50 people per day in the town of 4,500.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reported a loan taken out against the building is in default and the lender wants it paid in full or face auction this fall. David Hacker, the owner of the building housing the shelter, says many people depend on the shelter for more than just a place to sleep.

Hacker’s attorney plans to sue the lender in the hopes of working out a fair settlement. The defaulted loan is from the previous owner and Hacker agreed to help pay it off as part of his purchase in 2007.

Herald news services