Police search for suspect in fatal stabbing

SPOKANE — Spokane police hunted Friday for a suspect in what they call a random attack in which a woman was stabbed to death as she walked her dog.

Interim police chief Scott Stephens warned residents to be vigilant while the suspect remained on the run.

“The random nature of this crime is very troubling for the community,” Stephens said. “But that doesn’t mean people need to lock themselves in their homes.”

The victim of Thursday’s attack has been identified as Sharlotte McGill, 55. She suffered multiple stab wounds shortly after 8 a.m. while walking her dog on a trail along the Spokane River. She died a few hours later in a hospital.

McGill graduated from Okanogan High School and was a clerk at the Spokane Valley Costco. Police have not identified a suspect or a motive.

McGill was able to give a brief description of the suspect to people who rushed to her aid.

Police have described the suspect as a black man in his 30s, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. A person matching that description was briefly detained Thursday before being released. Stephens declined to say if that man remained a suspect.

Stephens said police don’t know if the suspect remained in the area or had fled.

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