Police: Hamilton Bridge victim bound, bag over his head

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by WHITNEY WARD & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 11:29 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 28 at 5:21 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. --A judge set bail at $1 million for two Spokane transient accused of murder. Vincent Merrill and Dakota Moss faced the judge Friday afternoon.

They were arrested Thursday after a body was found in the Spokane River near the Hamilton Bridge.

Merrill, 20, and Dakota Moss, 24, face first-degree murder charges. 

Spokane Police Department officials said the victim was found bound with rope and had a bag over his head. Both the victim and the two suspects were transients living in the area where the body was found, according to officials.

"We believe it was a combination of strangulation and blunt force trauma from a rock was most likely the weapon," said Spokane Police Lt. Mark Griffiths.

People fishing found the body and flagged down a runner to call 911 according to police.

Court documents identified the victim as Mark Pedersen, 40. The Medical Examiner listed his death as a homicide.

Court documents said the suspects worked together to plan and execute the murder. The documents said they wrapped a white cord around the victim's neck until he stopped moving. Then, they wrapped him in a blanket and hit him on the head.

Officials said a woman living under the Hamilton bridge near Riverpoint  told them the nigh Pedersen died, Merrill told her and the others to take a walk. She said when she came back Pedersen was gone and Merrill told them "he went swimming."

Officials said Dakota is reportedly cooperating and claimed MeRrill was the ring leader.

Court documents also said Merrill believed Pedersen was a child molester.

Spokane Police are looking into that claim but Pedersen has no history of molestation and doesn't have a criminal record in Spokane County.

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