SPOKANE, Wash. - UPDATE: The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the man found near the 1100 block of N. Division as 27-year-old Steven J. Hackett. The cause of death is still pending.
Late Monday morning, Spokane Police were notified about a body found behind Bulldog Wine and Liquor off of Division Street.
It was passerby that had made the discovery and alerted the store owner, who called police.
From a preliminary investigation, Spokane Police shared the body appeared to be of a transient with no obvious signs of trauma.
“We are investigating a death in the area, every unattended death gets investigated by Spokane Police so we are trying to determine if there was anything suspicious in nature,” said Officer Joshua Laiva.
Investigators blocked off the left hand lane of Division Street for most of the day and were busy interviewing witnesses and neighboring shops.
The businesses we spoke to were not surprised.
“Boy there has been some pretty off the wall things that we've seen. Fighting, drunk people, we've seen inappropriate behavior,” said Jeff Ries of Spokane County Title Company.
“We had a gentleman come in and actually build a home in a tree out of scrap lumber and wood he found and was actually living up in the tree,” shared Scott Dale of Benthin and Associates.
Dale says that tree became a hot spot for transients to lounge, especially in the summer, and caused a fire that destroyed his building in 2013.
“Since then we were able to get a neighboring property to tear down an old building,” he added.
And they finally got rid of the tree.
While neighboring businesses agree things have gotten much better thanks to development and the rebuilding of Benthin and Associates, they still have a long way to go.
Parking lots and streets have housed abandoned vehicles that transients utilize; one has sat behind Dale's building for over a year.
He hopes other neighboring businesses can “If others in the neighborhood, on this block could just take a little more encouragement to do something with their buildings and clean up these vacant lots. 14
Spokane police are asking anyone who may have witnessed anything suspicious in the are, or have any information that could be helpful for the death investigation to please call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.
- Thanksgiving travel tips for local flyers
- Holiday deals for the savvy consumer
- New details emerge in Medical Lake High School explicit photo drive
- Travel easier during the busiest holiday weekend in a decade
- Cantwell fights higher park fees
- Padden named ranking member on Senate Law and Justice committee