Suspect in Spokane Valley slayings believed to be dead

SPOKANE VALLEY - Police believe the suspect in a deadly Sunday morning attack in the Spokane Valley has been found dead at his home.

Detectives believe the body they discovered inside a garage in the 8300 block of East Briant Lane Sunday evening is that of 39-year-old Jan R. DeMeerleer.

The discovery effectively put an end to the manhunt for DeMeerleer, who was suspected of killing his fiance and one of her sons, while severely injuring another early Sunday morning.

Dispatchers received a frantic call at 2:49 a.m. from the woman's 17-year-old son who said he woke up to DeMeerleer slashing his throat.

When officers arrived at the home in the 600 block of North Ella, they found the injured teen who said DeMeerleer shot and killed his mother and shot one of his 9-year-old twin brothers in the back of the head.

Medics rushed the nine-year-old to a downtown hospital where he was placed on life support. Hospital staff pronounced the young boy brain dead at about 5:45 Sunday evening. Detectives say the other twin brother was not injured during the attack.

The Spokane County Sheriff's SWAT team surrounded DeMeerleer's Northwoods home Sunday morning. They were staged in the neighborhood most of the day, waiting for detectives to gather enough evidence to obtain a search warrant.

Detectives discovered a man's body inside the home at about 4:00 p.m., they said they had no reason to believe it wasn't DeMeerleer.

Roads were closed off around both the North Ella address and DeMeerleer's home late Sunday evening as investigators processed evidence at both crime scenes.

Investigators say DeMeerleer and the female victim were engaged to be married and had lived together for a short time at his home on East Briant Lane.

Friends and neighbors told KXLY that the victim is Rebecca Schiering, owner of the Reclothery, a consignment store in Downtown Spokane.

A close family friend said that Schiering moved out of DeMeerleer's home and into the home on N. Ella about 6 months ago because DeMeerleer was abusive to one of her 9-year-old twin sons.

That same friend said Schiering overcame a drug addiction and turned her life around, determined to make a better life for her three sons.

The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has scheduled autopsies for both the suspect and the female victim for 8:30 Monday morning. The cause of death and identities of the both will be released following the autopsy results.

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