Suspicious death turns into homicide investigation; 28-year-old Spokane man in custody

SPOKANE, Wash. - Detectives have arrested a suspect in the death of a woman found Wednesday afternoon in a Spokane apartment. 

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office charged 28-year-old Joseph W. Scheel with first-degree murder. Scheel was booked into the Spokane County Jail Wednesday night as a fugitive due to an active felony and dangerous drugs warrant issued out of Idaho. The murder charges against Scheel were filed Thursday. 

RELATED: Detectives investigating the death of a woman found in Spokane apartment

The victim's coworker called in a welfare check Tuesday afternoon, when she said the victim hadn't shown up for work in two days and was having problems with her boyfriend Joseph. Over the course of two days, SCSO deputies tried to get in touch with the victim three times. Deputies say when they arrived on scene Wednesday, they found a ladder leading into the unit, then were confronted by a man inside the apartment who was being uncooperative. 

A deeper search of the apartment led deputies to find the woman's body. Major crimes detectives and a forensics team conducted a nearly 24-hour investigation and found probable cause to charge Scheel with first degree murder. As of Thursday, the victim's name and cause of death had not been released by the medical examiner. 

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