UPDATE: Detectives Identify and Charge Deer Park Homicide Suspect with Murder 1st Degree, Burglary 1st Degree
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crime Detectives continued their investigation and developed probable cause to charge 37-year-old Gary B. Ault with Murder 1st Degree and Burglary 1st Degree in the death of 83-year-old Richard Purdy on December 26, 2022.
Detectives and Forensic Unit personnel remained at the victim’s residence for several hours as they processed the scene for evidence once a search warrant was obtained.
On December 28, 2022, Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the victim as 83-year-old Richard Purdy, listing his Cause of Death as Sharp and Blunt Force Injuries, Manner: Homicide.
During the testing of evidence recovered at the scene, Detectives linked a DNA profile to the suspect, 37-year-old Gary B. Ault, through a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) search. The Washington State Crime Lab conducted the DNA testing.
Investigators worked with SPD Major Crimes Detectives after they learned Ault was already in custody at the Spokane County Jail on separate charges brought by the Spokane Police Department on December 27, 2022. These charges stem from three unrelated, unprovoked, violent assaults of five victims. For the SPD charges of Assault 1st Degree, Assault 2nd Degree, Assault 3rd Degree, and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st Degree, his bond was set at $175,000.
Ault is a multi-time convicted felon including, but not limited to, charges of Burglary, Felony Assault, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Theft, Identity Theft, Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, and Escape.
Original Press Release from December 26, 2022:
Major Crimes Detectives Investigate Homicide
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Major Crime Detectives are investigating a homicide in the 29400 block of N. Dalton Road in North Spokane County.
*** Investigators are attempting to locate a male (person of interest), with a medium/large dog observed in the area, who may have information regarding this incident. The male is described as white, approximately 25 years old, 5’10”, slim/average build, clean-shaven, wearing dark clothing, and carrying a briefcase or bag. The male is possibly associated with or driving a dark-colored SUV.
Anyone with information regarding this male or who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area this evening is asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233, reference #10171903.
On December 26, 2022, at approximately 6:25 pm, Deputies responded to a suspicious death call at a residence in the 29400 block of N. Dalton Road, south of Deer Park.
Arriving Deputies found an older adult male deceased inside the home and recognized signs of a possible burglary. Deputies secured the scene to preserve evidence and summoned Major Crimes Detectives and Spokane County Forensics personnel to the scene.
This investigation is in its initial stages as Detectives start conducting interviews and work to obtain a search warrant for the home. Once a valid search warrant is granted, they will begin collecting evidence and piecing together facts and information to learn what occurred.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the name of the decedent, along with a cause and manner of death, at a later time, when appropriate.
Detectives have determined this is a homicide and will remain at the scene throughout the night as this investigation continues. No additional information is available at this time.
Anyone with information regarding the male noted above or who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area this evening is asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233, reference #10171903.
Spokane Police Department concerning the arrest of Ault on December 27, 2022:
SPD arrests man who attacked 6 people in seemingly unprovoked, random assaults
On 12/17/22 SPD officers responded to 3 separate assaults involving 5 victims. The first took place at Wall and Spokane Falls Blvd when a man walked up to 2 women who were sitting on the ground, sprayed them with bear spray, kicked them in the head, and walked off. The video link showing this attack is graphic and has been redacted to protect the victims. It shows the brazen manner in which the suspect carried out the assaults. Not long after this attack, 2 people sitting outside a business on W. Main St were both punched in a similar unprovoked manner. Later the same day, a woman standing outside a store in the 9400 block of North Division was also sprayed with bear spray then kicked without warning or provocation. Several days later on 12/20/22, a man in a bathroom of a store in the 9700 block on N. Newport Highway was punched and hit with a hammer in another random attack.
SPD’s Major Crimes Unit immediately began investigating these seemingly unrelated attacks and eventually investigators were able to piece the separate incidents together and develop probable cause to charge a suspect. Last week Gary B. Ault – age 37 – was charged with 3 counts of assault – Assault 1, Assault 2, and Assault 3 – related to the attacks. Additional charges are possible. Ault was booked into the Spokane County Jail where he remains on a $175,000 bond. Ault has 14 prior felony convictions to include Burglary, Theft, and Possession of Stolen Property.
Video link of attack https://vimeo.com/786748271