Medical Examiner Confirms Body Buried As Malden Teen
by Kelsey Watts, KHQ Local News Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
SPOKANE COUNTY, March 29, 2013 – The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has confirmed the identity of the man who was found on March 27, 2013 in Chattaroy, WA as 17-year-old Donavin D Stapert.
The cause of death is pending toxicology reports.
SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash – Spokane County Sheriff's detectives confirmed Wednesday afternoon, they found a body buried 4-5 feet deep in a thickly wooded area of north Spokane County.
The discovery came after Whitman County Sheriff's detectives got a tip that a body may be buried in the rural spot near Elk-Chattaroy & Bruce Roads. Whitman County Sheriff Brett Meyers confirmed the tip was related to the investigation into Donavin Stapert, 17, who was initially reported missing from Malden, Washington, on March 7th, and was later presumed dead.
Investigators believe Stapert was given drugs, died of an overdose, and that those involved hid his body. Three people have been arrested in connection with the case: Chastity Barkhuff, 38, James Ramson, 30, and Bobby Bilderback, 44.
Sheriff Meyers would not say whether the tip of the location of the body was given by one of the suspects, he would only say it "came from information developed in the course of the investigation."
The Major Crimes and Forensics team from the Spokane County Sheriff's Department was called to assist Whitman County in searching the plot of forest on state land where the body was said to be. They did find a spot where the dirt appeared to have been disturbed, and tire tracks leading to the area.
After several hours of gathering evidence, they began digging through six-inches of dirt at a time. The dirt was put through a sieve to look for anything non-natural, and the sheriff helicopter ‘Air 1' was also called in to gather aerial video of the search area and scene.
A neighbor living across the street from the search area told KHQ she sees traffic in and out of a dirt road leading into the forest all the time, but did not see or hear anything suspicious, adding "my heart goes out to his family."
The Medical Examiner's office will confirm the identity of the body recovered once the autopsy is complete.
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:17 AM EST2013-12-11 14:17:31 GMT
KHQ.COM - About 365,000 people have managed to get health insurance on the new state and federal websites so far, federal officials announced Wednesday.More >>
KHQ.COM - About 365,000 people have managed to get health insurance on the new state and federal websites so far, federal officials announced Wednesday. The numbers are just a trickle compared to what officials had forecast and hoped for, but show that the balky federal website is better than it was at rollout on Oct. 1.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 9:07 AM EST2013-12-11 14:07:31 GMT
Wednesday: Increased moisture is starting to make it's way into the region, that means today look for mostly cloudy skies.More >>
Wednesday: Increased moisture is starting to make it's way into the region, that means today look for mostly cloudy skies. A chance for some light snow in communities near the Canadian border (Northport, Bonners Ferry) this afternoon...but other than that, the rest of the region looks to stay dry. High: 30°More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 1:05 AM EST2013-12-11 06:05:12 GMT
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Friends of a Montana woman on trial for the death of her new husband say she showed little emotion when she located his body in Glacier National Park.More >>
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Friends of a Montana woman on trial for the death of her new husband say she showed little emotion when she located his body in Glacier National Park days after his July 7 disappearance.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 10:30 PM EST2013-12-11 03:30:19 GMT
A man who has already endured more than most is facing a new challenge.More >>
A man who has already endured more than most is facing a new challenge. Over the weekend, James VanCuren's snow tires were stolen from outside his garage before being installed on his truck. "I'm not taking the pass this time of year with bald tires," said VanCuren.More >>
You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch. That's how several people who live in Otis Orchards feel after vandals damaged or destroyed thousands of dollars of Christmas decorations. "When I came out with my daughter I saw the [inflatables] laying down and I came out and checked 'em," Ron Cafaro told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 9:39 PM EST2013-12-11 02:39:26 GMT
Monday night, the Spokane city council voted 6-0 to bring back the boot for habitual parking offenders. More >>
Monday night, the Spokane city council voted 6-0 to bring back the boot for habitual parking offenders. The city has not used the boot since the 1980's. The city says in the past ten years there have been more than 4 million dollars in unpaid parking tickets equaling around 90,000 unpaid tickets. The city says it aims to crack down on habitual offenders in the future.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 9:29 PM EST2013-12-11 02:29:21 GMT
KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) - Police in Kennewick, Wash., say a missing 14-year-old girl has talked with her mother and says she is in Mexico and is OK.More >>
KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) - Police in Kennewick, Wash., say a missing 14-year-old girl has talked with her mother and says she is in Mexico and is OK. KNDO says police confirmed Tuesday that the mother of Elizabeth Romero spoke with her daughter by phone and the girl said she is in Jalisco, Mexico.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 9:17 PM EST2013-12-11 02:17:34 GMT
In the winter season the risk of car prowling and vehicle thefts continues.More >>
In the winter season the risk of car prowling and vehicle thefts continues. Spokane Police Crime Analysts say if you become a victim of a car prowling you are looking at $300-500 to fix a window and if the thief steals a credit card they estimate that you could take a loss of $500-1000 per card.More >>
Tuesday, December 10 2013 8:58 PM EST2013-12-11 01:58:19 GMT
Prosecutors in Bonner County tell KHQ that a jury found Brianna Knapp guilty Tuesday of Fleeing the Scene of a Fatal Crash.More >>
Prosecutors in Bonner County tell KHQ that a jury found Brianna Knapp guilty Tuesday of Fleeing the Scene of a Fatal Crash. Knapp was driving a car that struck off-duty Spokane Police Officer Kurt Henson's motorcycle in Bonner County back in 2012. Henson died in the crash and his passenger was seriously injured.More >>