Kootenai Co. body discovery leads to 3 Spokane arrests


by KREM.com


Posted on May 29, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Updated Thursday, May 29 at 6:39 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. – Three people were arrested Wednesday night for the murder of Mark Broadwater.

Spokane Police Department leaders announced Thursday that they had arrested three people.

The arrests were related to a body that was found in May in Kootenai County according to those who knew the victim.  A tip helped authorities find the body which a family member later said was that Broadwater, 32.

READ: Body identified as missing Spokane man

WATCH: Body found near Fernan Lake roadway

Court documents said knuckles were the only weapons used to kill Broadwater. Detectives believe he knew his assailants and believe his death occured during the commission of a drug-related robbery.

Authorities said the three suspects, Jeffery B. Sankey (pictured above), 47, Judy L. Diamond, 40, and Peter E. O’Brien (pictured above), 44, were booked into the Spokane County Jail for 1st Degree Murder.

Earlier in May, police arrested O'Brien on an unrelated charge. Major crimes detectives already had information that he may have been involved in Broadwater's disappearance. When detectives interviewed him, they developed information surrounding Broadwater's death and the location of his remains.

Accoriding to court documents, O'Brien admitted to being there for the murder and disposal of the body. Documents also said Broadwater's killers put him in a garbage receptacle before dumping him in the woods.

O'Brien said they rolled the garbage receptacle off a steep hill area near Fernan Lake. Detective believe Diamond encouraged the murder.

Sankey has 12 previous convictions including Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription, Second Degree Possession of Stolen Property, Residential Burglary, First Degree Burglary, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Third Degree Assault. 

O'Brien has eight felony convictions including Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, First Degree Possession of Stolen Property, Theft of a Motor Vehicle Without Permission, Harassment and Theft of a Firearm.

Diamond has no felony convictions in the state of Washington.  

Broadwater vanished from Spokane in April 2013. At the time, Broadwater’s mother told KREM 2 News that his family assumed the worst.

"The family wants closure," said Cynthia Broadwater in November of 2013. "It's hard not knowing...but yet knowing.”

Cynthia said she had a date to meet her son, and when he didn't show, she knew in her heart something terrible had happened. Cynthia and everyone else Spokane Police have interviewed about Broadwater all believe he was the victim of a homicide.
"I feel he was murdered. We were supposed to meet at noon. He called me that morning, we had plans for lunch. He never showed,” said Broadwater.

Detectives searched a home in July 2013 after a tip came in the people who lived there were the last to see Broadwater alive. They left with no evidence of a murder but a new tip may be the break they need.

A tipster came forward saying he received a text which said "the body is buried what do I do next." The recipient had no tie to the case and did not recognize the number. Detectives believed it could be tied to the Broadwater case because it was sent the same time Broadwater disappeared.