UPDATE: Human Remains Identified - Investigation Closed
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Detectives working with the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office, a Washington State Forensic Anthropologist, and a Washington State Odontologist, have identified the humans remains discovered by a hunter in a wooded area near Brooks and Thorpe Road on May 3, 2017.
On September 18, 2017, the Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed the identity of the remains as 28-year-old Chuan Yang (born in 1988). Their release listed Yang’s Cause of Death as “Gunshot wound of the head” and the Manner as “Pending further investigation”.
Extensive searches of the scene and surrounding area were conducted and evidence was collected including a Glock handgun and a Social Security Card belonging to Yang. A trace of the handgun showed it was purchased by Yang in 2015.
After a thorough investigation and extensive review of the findings, investigators have closed the case as a suicide.
Original Press release from May 5, 2017:
Detectives Investigate Found Remains
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Detectives are investigating the discovery of human remains found in a remote wooded area in West Spokane County.
Yesterday morning, a hunter reported finding what appeared to be a skull, partially covered by dirt, in a wooded area. The hunter walked back to his vehicle, reported the incident, and waited for deputies to arrive.
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Detectives were called to the scene to continue the investigation and process the scene.
Investigators are accessing the scene on foot, extending the amount of time needed to conduct a thorough search, recover the remains and collect any evidence.
It appears the remains have been there for some time, but exactly how long, or if any criminal activity is involved, is not yet known.
As this is an active investigation in a remote area, no further information is available at this time to allow detectives to search the area uninterrupted. An update with any additional information will be provided as soon as it is appropriate to do so.