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'Our hearts are shattered': Family grieves loss of Rodeway Inn stabbing victim

The medical examiner's office said 24-year-old Makayla Young died from multiple stab wounds. Two men have been charged with murder in relation to her death.

Warning: This story contains graphic information. 

SPOKANE, Wash. —  The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has identfied the woman who was found dead in the Rodeway Inn Motel on Feb. 28.

According to the medical examiner's office, 24-year-old Makayla Young was found dead from "multiple incised and stab wounds." The manner of death is homicide.

Young was found "nearly decapitated," according to affidavits filed in Spokane County.

Two men, 27-year-old Anthony Fuerte and 32-year-old Lionel White, have been charged with second-degree murder in relation to Young's death. Both pleaded not guilty at a court appearance on Monday. 

The victim's sister, Emily Young, released a statement from the family on Wednesday: 

“Makayla was a bright light in everyone's life. She always had a smile on her face. She loved hard and was trusting of everyone. Her life was taken from us and we are here left thinking, 'Why? Why, how could this be. Not our beautiful Makayla.' Our hearts are shattered. Life will never be the same without her. Her silly dancing to Bill Withers' 'Lovely Day' and her personal dancing log at our lake cabin, our fondest memories. She loved her family so much and we all lived together up until the day she left us. She was our laughter and happiness. Her love and light can not be explained in words. She loved her mom and dad immensely, and her sister and her had an unbreakable and unspeakable bond. Her brothers were her protectors and are left in shambles at the fact we couldn't save her. Shes is loved and mourned by numerous family Christy Young (mom), Michael Young (father), Emily Young (sister) Andrew Young (brother), Connor Young (brother) Brittanie Young (sister), and her favorite girl McKenlee Rainey (niece), grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. We will never be the same after losing you Makayla Kristine. Rest in peace our love. At this this the family asks for no further statements from the media while they mourn and grieve the tragic death of our sweet angel Makayla Kristine Young.”

Emily Young also told KREM that her sister knew one of the suspects charged in connection to her death. She was unable to confirm if the person she knew was Lionel White or Anthony Fuerte. 

Makayla Young's cousin, Tiarra Prater, remembered her as "one of the kindest people you could have ever met."

"She always carried a smile. She gave what I call 'The Young Hug,'" she wrote. "...Every member of the Young side gives the warmest hugs, they're so strong and always make you feel loved and apart [sic] of the family."

Young's friend, Nena Peachy, also provided a statement to KREM's Amanda Roley on Wednesday about the loss of her friend.

"Makayla was always sweet and kind — a true gem. She'll be forever missed beyond belief!" she wrote. "Somewhere in heaven she's looking down and protecting all of her loved ones."

A GoFundMe campaign set up to support Young's family and pay for her funeral has raised nearly $3,400 of a $7,000 goal. The organizer describes Young as "caring, kind, loving, passionate about the people she loved and always worried about others before herself," adding that she "always saw the best in everyone."

 Young's body found face down on motel room bed, documents say

According to the affidavits, the door of the motel room was open when police arrived on Feb. 28, and there was blood on the ground near the door and the door's handle. Young's body was also face down on a bed with one arm behind her back.

The documents say Young's body was partially covered by bedding and there was a blood spatter "across several pillows on a bed 10-12 feet away." According to the documents, a broken lamp was also found nearby and there were blood drops on a nearby wall.

A detective said the state of the room was consistent with a struggle or fight, according to the documents.

The room was rented out to a different man, who told police he rented it for Fuerte and one of Feurte's friends but not himself, according to the documents.

A housekeeper said she saw a man set bloody towels outside of the room at about 10:55 a.m. on Feb 27, documents say. She told police she asked the man if he needed more towels, to which he said yes.

She said she went back to the room on Feb. 28 and entered using a spare key after there was no answers, at which time she found the body, documents say.

RELATED: Spokane police charge two men with murder after body found in motel

Blood stains were also found on a fence behind the motel, along with a bloody handprint on a vehicle at a near by sandwich shop, according to documents. There were more bloodstains found on a vehicle at a nearby vehicle dealership to the north of the motel.

According to documents, Young had multiple stab wounds to the chest. and the head was "nearly decapitated from the body with what appears to be a significant attempt with a sharp weapon to remove the head." 

Fuerte was later arrested at a coffee shop on North Division Street after attempting to steal a car, according to documents. He was covered in blood.

RELATED: Major Crimes investigating body found at North Spokane motel

According to records, White had a "tool with a pointed shaft several inches long." White also admitted to being the friend of Fuerte's at the motel.

White told police he left the bloody towels outside of the room on his last day there, but that he left the room when Fuerte and Young were allegedly arguing, the records say. He also denied participating in hurting Young in anyway, and also denied helping cleanup after an assault, according to documents. 

Police say in the records that White identified Young as someone who had been with them in the room in the days prior. 

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