Apartment murder victim identified as 47-year-old Sacred Heart employee
SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane County Medical Examiner identified 47-year-old Edna Patricia Hernandez as the victim in a murder at the Beau Rivage apartment complex.
The medical examiner said Hernandez’s death has been ruled a homicide and she was stabbed multiple times.
The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office responded to the apartment complex on Wednesday for reports of a suspicious death. The case later escalated to a murder investigation and SCSO arrested 28-year-old Joseph Scheel in connection to the case.
On Friday, Sacred Heart Medical Center confirmed Hernandez was an employee at the hospital. According to court documents, Hernandez’s coworker called in a welfare check Tuesday afternoon when she said did not show up for work for the second day in a row.
According to court documents, Hernandez and Scheel, who were identifed as being in an intimate relationship, were supposed to move out of their apartment at the Beau Rivage complex on April 1. When approached by the apartment manager, Hernandez showed injuries to her arm and leg. According to documents, the apartment manager offered to connect Hernandez with assistance, but Hernandez asked her to be quiet.
In weeks prior, Hernandez had reported to 911 that her boyfriend had grabbed her neck. In March, Hernandez told staff at the hospital that she had been thrown out of a vehicle and had to jump from a vehicle in weeks prior.
Following the request for a welfare check, SCSO deputies tried to get in touch with Hernandez on three separate occasions. Deputies said they found a ladder leading into the unit when they arrived on scene Wednesday. They were then confronted by a man inside the apartment who was being uncooperative.
A deeper search of the apartment led deputies to find Hernandez’s body. Major Crimes detectives and a forensics team conducted a nearly 24-hour investigation. According to court documents, detectives removed two knives from Scheel’s person. Detectives later found probable cause to charge Scheel with first degree murder.
According to court documents, Scheel told authorites he was concerned for his safety inside the jail and admitted to using methamphetamine, which contributed to his paranoia issues.
Court documents state Hernandez had been arguing with Scheel about his drug use in the days prior to her death.
Help for victims of domestic violence
— National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233
— YWCA Spokane – 509-326-2255
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