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>>

  • Spokane human rights group to apologize to sheriff, deputies

    Spokane human rights group to apologize to sheriff, deputies

    Sunday, July 23 2017 12:15 PM EDT2017-07-23 16:15:29 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The Spokane Human Rights Commission plan to apologize to the sheriff's office for a comment one of its official made on social media regarding newly hired deputies. Vice chairwoman Ashley Torres shared a post on Facebook announcing seven new Spokane County sheriff's deputies and commented on the lack of diversity in the force.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - The Spokane Human Rights Commission plan to apologize to the sheriff's office for a comment one of its official made on social media regarding newly hired deputies. Vice chairwoman Ashley Torres shared a post on Facebook announcing seven new Spokane County sheriff's deputies and commented on the lack of diversity in the force.

    >>
  • Police: Video shows teens watching, laughing as man drowns

    Police: Video shows teens watching, laughing as man drowns

    Saturday, July 22 2017 2:48 PM EDT2017-07-22 18:48:32 GMT

    COCOA, Fla. (AP) - Authorities in Florida say a group of teens watched and laughed as a man drowned in a retention pond last week. Jamel Dunn drowned in a retention pond in the city of Cocoa on July 9. Cocoa police say they later discovered a group of teens recorded the 31-year-old's drowning on video. The video was released by the state attorney's office Thursday and audio was published by Florida Today.

    >>

    COCOA, Fla. (AP) - Authorities in Florida say a group of teens watched and laughed as a man drowned in a retention pond last week. Jamel Dunn drowned in a retention pond in the city of Cocoa on July 9. Cocoa police say they later discovered a group of teens recorded the 31-year-old's drowning on video. The video was released by the state attorney's office Thursday and audio was published by Florida Today.

    >>
  • Contest winner disqualified over pro-Trump Instagram post

    Contest winner disqualified over pro-Trump Instagram post

    Sunday, July 23 2017 2:38 PM EDT2017-07-23 18:38:14 GMT

    A Kansas makeup artist says she won a national contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty but was later was disqualified because of her Instagram post supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy. The Wichita Eagle reports screenshots taken by Gypsy Freeman of Wichita show she won the Instagram contest last month.

    >>

    A Kansas makeup artist says she won a national contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty but was later was disqualified because of her Instagram post supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy. The Wichita Eagle reports screenshots taken by Gypsy Freeman of Wichita show she won the Instagram contest last month.

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

  • Level 3 evacuations issued for Bissell Fire burning in Stevens County

    Level 3 evacuations issued for Bissell Fire burning in Stevens County

    Monday, July 24 2017 12:26 AM EDT2017-07-24 04:26:39 GMT
    Texas teen calls mom, a 911 dispatcher, to say house ablazeTexas teen calls mom, a 911 dispatcher, to say house ablaze

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Level three evacuations have been issued in Stevens County as firefighters battle the Bissell Fire near Hunters, Washington.  The latest from DNR is that the fire is at 50 acres and no structures have been lost.  Level 3 evacuations were issued just after 8:00 p.m. as the fire grew quickly. The evacuation area consists of all residents within a mile radius of 3987 Bissel Road. 

    >>

    STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Level three evacuations have been issued in Stevens County as firefighters battle the Bissell Fire near Hunters, Washington.  The latest from DNR is that the fire is at 50 acres and no structures have been lost.  Level 3 evacuations were issued just after 8:00 p.m. as the fire grew quickly. The evacuation area consists of all residents within a mile radius of 3987 Bissel Road. 

    >>
  • Door-to-door solicitor uses racial slur against Spokane woman

    Door-to-door solicitor uses racial slur against Spokane woman

    Sunday, July 23 2017 9:39 PM EDT2017-07-24 01:39:10 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One Spokane couple is furious after they say someone who went door-to-door asking for donations used a racial slur against them. Roger and Christina Wink were at home when they heard a knock at the door. Christina answered, and a man described to be in his 20s said he was collecting money to send care packages to active military.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - One Spokane couple is furious after they say someone who went door-to-door asking for donations used a racial slur against them. Roger and Christina Wink were at home when they heard a knock at the door. Christina answered, and a man described to be in his 20s said he was collecting money to send care packages to active military.

    >>
  • Highway 95 reopens in Bonner County following crash

    Highway 95 reopens in Bonner County following crash

    Sunday, July 23 2017 9:31 PM EDT2017-07-24 01:31:27 GMT

    PONDERAY, Idaho - Bonner County Emergency Management reports a multi-vehicle crash closed Highway 95 in both direction Sunday afternoon. The Bonner County Sheriff's Office reports the highway is closed at milepost 490 near Elmira Road, about 11 miles north of Ponderay, while investigators gather evidence and interview witnesses.

    >>

    PONDERAY, Idaho - Bonner County Emergency Management reports a multi-vehicle crash closed Highway 95 in both direction Sunday afternoon. The Bonner County Sheriff's Office reports the highway is closed at milepost 490 near Elmira Road, about 11 miles north of Ponderay, while investigators gather evidence and interview witnesses.

    >>