Neighbor reported suspicious van less than 1 hour before murder



Posted on December 20, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 25 at 4:43 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- KREM 2 News obtained an exclusive interview with a woman who saw a suspicious van circling around a South Hill house where a man was murdered Sunday night.

WATCH: Family of S. Hill murder victim remembers man ‘surrounded by love’

Doug Carlile, 63, was shot multiple times inside his home near 25th and Garfield.  Police suspect a white cargo van spotted near the house was likely tied to the killing. A security camera at a neighbor’s home caught the images of the van.

WATCH: Neighbor's camera shows van near Spokane murder scene

One neighbor saw the van and claimed she called crime check and 911 less than an hour before the murder, but said she did not get a response.

WATCH: White vans prompt numerous calls to SPD following S. Hill murder
The woman fears the driver may have seen her, so KREM 2 is not releasing her identity. 

She claimed she was pulling up to her house the night of the murder when she saw the van parked between her home and the Carlile's.

“I got this sinking feeling in my gut when I saw there was no license plates,” she said.  “It was a Sunday night.  No one is having an electrician come in an unmarked van on a Sunday night.”

The woman said she suspected the van was casing the neighborhood and was so scared, she did not go into her home until she saw the van drive away.

Still terrified, she called police.

“I called 911 at 6:46 [p.m.] and was on the phone with them for a few minutes and the shots were fired at like 7:03 [p.m.],” she said.  “I was standing in my doorway with my toddler when I heard shots.”

Spokane Police spokespeople said a suspicious car is not a priority call and officers were busy with other emergencies.
The witness said she understands police were busy, but could not stop thinking about what might have been.

“This guy was someone's husband; someone's father; someone's grandfather.  It makes me kind of sick to think this maybe could have been prevented, or at the very least, they could have maybe caught the suspicious van.”

Major Crimes Detectives have since interviewed the woman.

Meanwhile, there have been reported sightings of the van in North Dakota, but police would not confirm if those were legitimate.