KHQ Investigates: Spokane serial killer in the making? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

KHQ Investigates: Spokane serial killer in the making?

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

One woman is missing, another was found dismembered, and a third was sexually assaulted and left for dead. New documents reveal detectives believe the same man was connected to each case. So why has he only been charged with hurting one of them? KHQ poured over documents in this special investigation in search of answers for grieving families.

"There is a part of your spirit so injured, that you never feel the same," said Jackie Forney, "There's no real happiness anymore."

Jackie's daughter Heather Higgins vanished in September of 2010.

"The sparkle in life goes away, and everything is just dull," she said.

Heather's body has never been found, but loved ones have long suspected she was murdered.

"I'm in hell, pure hell," she said. "This took my life away."

Jackie devoted everything to finding out what happened to her daughter.

A name quickly surfaced from witnesses. They said Heather got a ride from him the day she disappeared.

Police records obtained by KHQ's Hayley Guenthner show the man's name came up repeatedly as detectives investigated Heather's case. Police records show a passerby found a large knife and an ID of Heather's just a few blocks from where the man was living. Records also show a witness told detectives the man told her he "did something really bad." The witness said the man also said he didn't kill Heather, but "disposed of (her) body by putting her in a sleeping bag." He allegedly dumped her body near a ski resort "up north," according to the witness.

Because the man has yet to be charged, we are not naming him.

KHQ showed Jackie the documents containing those details. She said they were shocking to read.

"This person should have been stopped," Jackie said. "It's not like nobody knew he was. I feel really bad that someone else had to die."

That someone else may have been Kala Williams.

"It just breaks my heart," said Williams' aunt, Jo Cameron.

Kala's dismembered body was found stuffed in trash bags and a sleeping bag shortly after she disappeared in 2012. Police records show the same man they believe was involved in Heather's case, was detective's top suspect in Kala's.

"A monster is right," said family members of the suspect.

Documents show a detective pushed to the get the man charged for Kala's death. He wrote a charging request complete with an affidavit of facts for prosecutors to review, claiming DNA tied the man to items found with her remains. The case still had a huge hurdle.

"She was murdered," family said of Kala. "Brutally murdered."

At least one expert doesn't appear to agree. One of Spokane County's Medical Examiner's, Dr. John Howard, lists Kala's death as undetermined.

"That means he doesn't want to spend the time to determine what happened to my niece," Julie Beauchanie said.

Records show Spokane Police did hire an outside expert to review the case. He found Kala died of "homicidal violence," but still, no charges were filed. Months later, records show the same man went on to sexually assault and strangle another woman. She survived and he was arrested. He's currently in jail for that attack, but could be out as early as next year.

Both families are left hopeful prosecutor's will charge him before that happens.

"Nobody should get away with the heinous evil things that this person has done to our children," Jackie said. "I know if it was their child, they would want whoever to be doing their job."

KHQ reached out to SPD and the prosecutor's office. Both refused to comment as this is a very active case. Prosecutors said they continue to review the file.

Calls to Dr. Howard were not returned.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Officials say cougar in fatal attack was shot

    Officials say cougar in fatal attack was shot

    Saturday, May 19 2018 8:37 PM EDT2018-05-20 00:37:36 GMT

    NORTH BEND, Wash. (AP) - Officials in Washington state say a cougar that attacked two men riding bicycles, killing one and injuring the second, has been shot to death. Capt. Alan Myers of the state's Fish & Wildlife Police says agents using a hound-dog tracker shot and killed the cougar shortly before 3 p.m., the Seattle Times reported.

    >>

    NORTH BEND, Wash. (AP) - Officials in Washington state say a cougar that attacked two men riding bicycles, killing one and injuring the second, has been shot to death. Capt. Alan Myers of the state's Fish & Wildlife Police says agents using a hound-dog tracker shot and killed the cougar shortly before 3 p.m., the Seattle Times reported.

    >>
  • Pregnant woman says man punched her and service dog on flight to Orlando

    Pregnant woman says man punched her and service dog on flight to Orlando

    Friday, May 18 2018 7:54 PM EDT2018-05-18 23:54:01 GMT
    Stock image of inside a planeStock image of inside a plane
    Stock image of inside a planeStock image of inside a plane

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A deaf woman who is 5 months pregnant says a man punched her in the stomach and hit her service dog during a confrontation on an airplane as it arrived at a Florida airport. Hazel Ramirez says she and her partner, Matthew Silvay, were confronted Thursday by Timothy Manley, who objected to their service dog, Zariel, a Great Dane. Manley says the dog triggered his wife's allergies as the flight from Colorado Springs to Orlando was making its descent. &nb...

    >>

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - A deaf woman who is 5 months pregnant says a man punched her in the stomach and hit her service dog during a confrontation on an airplane as it arrived at a Florida airport. Hazel Ramirez says she and her partner, Matthew Silvay, were confronted Thursday by Timothy Manley, who objected to their service dog, Zariel, a Great Dane. Manley says the dog triggered his wife's allergies as the flight from Colorado Springs to Orlando was making its descent. &nb...

    >>
  • Felon arrested after bragging to Moses Lake police on Facebook

    Felon arrested after bragging to Moses Lake police on Facebook

    Saturday, May 19 2018 5:19 PM EDT2018-05-19 21:19:17 GMT

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Here's a tip: If you're on the run from police, don't brag about getting away on their Facebook page. That's what 19-year-old Kayla Irizzary did before she was taken into custody early Saturday morning by Moses Lake Police. Officers say they first contacted the woman during a traffic stop last week. She was a passenger in the stopped car.

    >>

    MOSES LAKE, Wash. - Here's a tip: If you're on the run from police, don't brag about getting away on their Facebook page. That's what 19-year-old Kayla Irizzary did before she was taken into custody early Saturday morning by Moses Lake Police. Officers say they first contacted the woman during a traffic stop last week. She was a passenger in the stopped car.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • 14-year-old pretends he's a NY cop, robs a legally blind man

    14-year-old pretends he's a NY cop, robs a legally blind man

    Sunday, May 20 2018 4:49 PM EDT2018-05-20 20:49:21 GMT
    Child found in Illinois garage may have been killed in 2013Child found in Illinois garage may have been killed in 2013

    NEW YORK (AP) - Police say a 14-year-old boy posing as a police officer was arrested for snatching a legally blind man's wallet in a Manhattan subway station - while pretending to help him.    His mother turned the baby-faced youth in to police on Sunday, nearly a week after he fled the station at 34th Street and Eighth Avenue.

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - Police say a 14-year-old boy posing as a police officer was arrested for snatching a legally blind man's wallet in a Manhattan subway station - while pretending to help him.    His mother turned the baby-faced youth in to police on Sunday, nearly a week after he fled the station at 34th Street and Eighth Avenue.

    >>
  • Ex-State Republican Party chair to challenge Sen. Cantwell

    Ex-State Republican Party chair to challenge Sen. Cantwell

    Sunday, May 20 2018 4:15 PM EDT2018-05-20 20:15:25 GMT

    SEATTLE (AP) - Former state Republican Party chair Susan Hutchison is challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's effort to win a fourth term in 2018.    The Seattle Times reports Hutchison filed late Friday afternoon right before the candidate-filing deadline.    Hutchison is the best-known of more than two-dozen challengers in the race.

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - Former state Republican Party chair Susan Hutchison is challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell's effort to win a fourth term in 2018.    The Seattle Times reports Hutchison filed late Friday afternoon right before the candidate-filing deadline.    Hutchison is the best-known of more than two-dozen challengers in the race.

    >>
  • Bicyclist still in hospital after cougar attack

    Bicyclist still in hospital after cougar attack

    Sunday, May 20 2018 3:55 PM EDT2018-05-20 19:55:37 GMT
    file photofile photo

    NORTH BEND, Wash. (AP) - A mountain biker who survived a cougar attack that killed his friend east of Seattle is still hospitalized.    Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said the 31-year-old man was in satisfactory condition Sunday.    He and a 32-year-old man were riding on a trail in the Cascade Mountain foothills on Saturday when the mountain lion began following them.

    >>

    NORTH BEND, Wash. (AP) - A mountain biker who survived a cougar attack that killed his friend east of Seattle is still hospitalized.    Harborview Medical Center spokeswoman Susan Gregg said the 31-year-old man was in satisfactory condition Sunday.    He and a 32-year-old man were riding on a trail in the Cascade Mountain foothills on Saturday when the mountain lion began following them.

    >>