SPOKANE, Wash.— Spokane saw a huge spike in murders during 2012 and 2013 . City police detectives have dealt with 14 murders in each year.
Detectives have all but one of those murders solved.
“You never imagine that someone you love or know is going to die in such a horrific way,” said Barb Belton, a victim’s family member.
That is the painful reality for the family of 88-year-old World War Two veteran Delbert Belton. He was beaten to death and robbed in the Eagle’s Lodge parking lot in August of 2013. Detectives identified his accused killers within hours of his murder. They were locked up within days.
“They have to be pretty good at their job, they know what they're doing,” said Belton.
Major Crimes detectives have investigated 28 murders in the two years. This is more than twice the amount in 2010 and 2011.
“We always put as many resources as we feel appropriate into the investigation and we work those cases 24 hours a day,” said Sergeant Mark Griffiths with the Spokane Police Department.
Detectives had solved every 2013 murder until the Doug Carlile case. Detectives said the Carlile case is more complicated than most and will keep them swamped into 2014.
Despite the increase in the murder rate, numbers show overall violent crime is actually less than in the past. Police said violent crime decreased by about 10 percent.