CHATTAROY, Wash. -- The Spokane County Sheriff's Office and the Whitman County Sheriff's Office found a body buried in North Spokane County on Wednesday.
Investigators believe it is the body of a missing teenager from Malden, Wash. Donavin Stapert, 17, has been missing since early March. The body still needs to be positively identified by the Medical Examiner.
“It was quite startling to find out what was going on,” neighbor Paul Slaven said.
Spokane Major Crimes and Forensics units assisted Whitman County Wednesday as deputies looked for a body at a property at 28709 N. Schwartgen Rd. outside of Chattaroy, Wash. Investigators said that they found the body four to five feet underground in a heavily wooded area around 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Slaven says investigators showed up late Tuesday night.
“They told me that would be here all night long and they found something-- evidence. That’s all they told me.”
Investigators believe Stapert died at a home in Malden, and the suspects then took his body somewhere else.
The homicide investigation is about 60 miles north of Malden. Whitman County deputies say the two cases are connected. They added that they did not stumble upon the crime scene. Investigators were led to this location because of others' statements according to Sheriff Brett Myers.
Authorities arrested three people for the murder of Donavin Stapert in Montana and Washington. One of the suspects told a Missoula judge that he will go back to Washington State to face the charges against him. Missoula police arrested Bobby Bilderback, 44, on Monday morning. James Larry Ramson and Chastity Dawn were arrested for Stapert's death in Whitman County.