Friends Remember Downtown Yakima Murder Victim - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Friends Remember Downtown Yakima Murder Victim

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Police have identified the man killed in downtown Yakima earlier this week. Police say David Lee Childs, 70, was stabbed and beaten to death, and his body was left in a flower planter off North Front Street.

He was pretty well known in the community and his tragic death has stunned many close friends.

Police still don't have any suspects or a motive as to why he was murdered.

Friday, friends remembered a man who they say was one of the nicest people they'd ever met.

"Dave was just a great guy," said longtime friend John Baule.

Childs loved shoes. In fact, he dedicated much of his adult life to them. Even collecting about 600 pairs and displaying them at the Yakima Valley Museum during a two year exhibit.

"They are just incredible. It was probably one of the most popular shows here in the time that I've been here," Baule said.

Along with being a good friend, Baule is also the director at the museum that housed Childs' collection.

"We all just kind of sat there and looked at each other. We just heard a little while ago, just this morning. So, I don't think for all of us it's really totally sunk in that he's not going to be walking in the door again," Baule said.

He says he was shocked to hear the news, blown away that his friend was the man found beaten to death in a downtown parking lot early Tuesday morning.

"Nobody deserves it, but certainly this would be the last person in the world you even want to wish anything like that on," Baule said.

He says the 70-year-old longtime Yakima resident actually grew up in Iowa, but got a job at Nordstrom in Yakima selling shoes.

"Many many families, many women, many children and what not all went to Dave for their shoes," Baule said.

A guy who loved shoes, but in death remembered for a whole lot more.

"The nicest, sweetest man. Do anything in the world for you. Just a great guy," Baule said.

It took investigators several days to identify Childs. But, they were finally able to do it after his name was found printed under a set of false teeth he was wearing.      

Now that they know his identify, investigators say they're trying to put the pieces together and figure out why he was murdered.


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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Police have identified the man killed in Downtown Yakima earlier this week.

They're not releasing his name until family is notified, but they say he's a white man in his 70's who lives in the area. His body was found in a flower planter off North Front Street, near Yakima Avenue. The Yakima County Coroner says they found his name printed under a set of his false teeth.  

The coroner says he died of blunt trauma to the head and neck, and had puncture wounds to the neck and chest. Police say they still have no suspects.

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YAKIMA, Wash. - Yakima police say the homicide victim found dead yesterday in a downtown Yakima flower planter was stabbed multiple times.

Investigators say they currently have no suspects but do not believe it is gang related.

Officers say they still have no idea who the victim is but say he's white, in his mid 50's, 5'10", and 225 lbs. He has a white hair, a beard, and wore glasses.

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Police are investigating a possible homicide after a dead body was found in the heart of downtown Yakima.

People we spoke to say they rarely, if ever see crime in downtown.
But Wednesday, a big shock to them as police blocked off a portion of North Front Street, gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses in what they're now calling a homicide.  

"This never happens on Front Street. We've been working hard, all of us businesses around the area have been working very hard to revitalize Front Street," said Marie Lichota, an employee at Carousel French Cuisine.

A shocking scene to business owners and employees getting into work this morning. Yellow police tape closing off nearly a block of North Front Street between Yakima Avenue and A Street. Police investigating Yakima's first homicide in 2013.  

"This morning we were looking at it initially as a suspicious death, we are ruling it now more likely than not a homicide," said Capt. Rod Light with YPD.

Police were called to the area around seven Tuesday morning. A man found dead in a flower planter just feet from local businesses. Right now, police say they have no idea who he is.

"He had absolutely no identification on him, nothing," Capt. Light said.

The victim is described as a white man in his mid 50's, about 5'10'' weighing 225 pounds. He has white hair, a beard and wore glasses. They say they're not sure if he was homeless.

For people who work nearby, still many unanswered questions about what happened and concern about what could be another black eye for downtown.
     
"I hope that we don't lose business to it, because we shouldn't. This stuff never happens on Front Street," Lichota said.

"Will this hamper the downtown revitalization? Absolutely not," Capt. Light said.

Police say they don't believe this homicide was gang related.

They ask anyone who might have any information to please come forward.

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