SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A body found in a heavily wooded area just north of Spokane on Monday was that of the ex-convict sought in the killings of a woman and her two young sons, whose family had befriended the man and opened their home to him.
A police dog found the body of Dustin W. Gilman, 22, on a Wandermere area cliff after officers were initially led there by signals from his cell phone. Police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe confirmed the body was Gilman.
Gilman's father, Larry Gilman, told police on Saturday that he'd heard a gunshot while speaking to his son on the phone and that made him believe that his son had committed suicide.
Police did not release the cause of death.
Gilman had been the subject of a manhunt since Friday's slayings of Tracy Ann Ader, 32, and her 8- and 10-year-old sons at their home, where Gilman had been staying. Ader's husband was in the hospital at the time with an unrelated illness.
No motive has been offered for the killings.
Gilman spent nine months in prison in 2009 after he was convicted of two counts of second-degree trafficking in stolen property. The Aders had befriended him and he had lived with the family for several months, officials have said. He watched the boys and attended family gatherings.
A makeshift memorial has been set up outside Ader's Spokane home.
"They were just the sweetest boys ever," Melody Ponsness, Ader's cousin, told The Spokesman-Review newspaper. "They always gave you a hug before you had to go back home. It's hard to find words. It's just so shocking."