SPOKANE--Kim Schmidt was found dead in her north Spokane home with a gunshot wound to her head on New Year's Day. Schmidt and a person of interest are both named as defendants in a current civil lawsuit for a scuba diving accident.
KREM 2's Katie Utehs looked into the connection between Schmidt and her co-defendant.
Investigators are still waiting on DNA evidence before naming a suspect, but they are interviewing a man that Schmidt used to dive with. Schmidt and that man were served with a second lawsuit just weeks before her murder.
A diving accident in western Washington involved Schmidt and dive master Daniel Arteaga. Schmidt volunteered as an assistant on the training dive.
King County Rescue Crews explained what happened in March of last year saying, "The instructor felt the student tug on her arm and that's when she noticed the student was in distress with water in the mask and having trouble with the regulator."
The dive student who nearly drowned recently filed a civil suit naming Arteaga, Schmidt and Scuba Center of Spokane where Arteaga works.
It's the second lawsuit against the defendants. They settled out of court in 2008 after a man died while diving.
On New Year’s Day Schmidt was found shot in the head in her home.
Attorneys notified detectives of the new lawsuit when they realized a potential connection between Schmidt’s murder and the legal issues.
Officials say the complaint and the demand letter had been served just two weeks before she was murdered.
Both cases involved diving accidents where the Schmidt and Arteaga are accused of negligence.
Investigators say Arteaga and Schmidt lived together in the past and had been romantically involved, but wouldn't say how long ago.
Detectives have not named Arteaga as a suspect, but are calling him a person of interest.
They say he's been cooperative.