White vans prompt numerous calls to SPD following S. Hill murder




Posted on December 18, 2013 at 5:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 25 at 4:43 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--One of the leads police are investigating in connection with the Sunday night murder of Douglas Carlile took them to one un-expecting woman’s front door. 

Shelby, who chose not to disclose her last name, expected to have her day disrupted by carpet installation. Instead, she received a visit from police officers. Detectives showed up because the carpet cleaner’s van was similar to one seen leaving the Sunday night murder scene.

“This was actually the second time our carpet layer got stopped because his white van matched the description,” Shelby said.

READ: Court documents: footprints found in mud behind murder scene

Cameras on a home near the murder scene at 25th and Garfield caught images of a white van Sunday night. The van in the video appears to be a Dodge extended cab, early 2000s model. 

The carpet installation van outside Shelby’s house looked very similar, prompting a neighbor to call the police. 

“The police officer informed him he might be stopped several more times and he was very cooperative and understanding.” Shelby said. “They were just trying to solve a murder.”

Police said they have responded to numerous tips on similar vans spotted at homes, businesses, and on Craigslist.  They took this man’s name and license plate number and said they are taking every lead seriously.  

Shelby said she understands the police follow-up is routine, however she was not expecting it at her doorstep.

“My heart did skip a little bit, but he didn’t come with guns drawn,” Shelby said. “I think if they really thought it was really the murder, we would have had a different situation and my reaction would have been a little bit different.”

Police said they still want the public to report anything suspicious.  The van in the surveillance video has two windows on one side and none on the other.  Police urge anyone who sees it to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233.