CHENEY, Wash. — 25-year-old Loghan Starbuck was last seen on December 17 last year. She was reported missing five days later. Her disappearance was even covered on national news earlier this month.
Just last week, Spokane fire recovered a body from the Spokane River near TJ Meenach bridge. KREM 2's Amanda Roley confirmed through a report from the Cheney Police department that an autopsy identified the body as Starbuck last week.
In their investigation, Cheney police found evidence indicating that before her disappearance, Starbuck took a bus from Cheney to Spokane.
The department provided us with copies of surveillance video showing Starbuck getting on the bus. She is seen getting on the bus at a Cheney bus stop just before 3 p.m. on Dec. 18. Then she gets off the bus about 40 minutes later at the STA Plaza.
Police later learned some tourists found Starbuck's belongings on the south end of the pedestrian bridge in Riverfront Park. That's where Plan B Forensics started their search-- independently from law enforcement.
"The dogs were able to pick up the trail of where the belongings and I say the belongings instead of the person because you know that that's exactly what they're tracking and not necessarily the person," Plan B Forensics founder Suzan Marshall said.
Marshall leads the organization and is a spokesperson for the Starbuck family. She told me about what the dogs found that day.
"They picked that up right away and they also picked up where the belongings were," Marshall said. "So, there was another area along the Avista tower and another area on the bridge and then circled back and then they they sit down where the belongings were actually found and they were exactly correct."
When Marshall heard about a body recovered from the river three miles from this bridge, she suggested the Starbuck family inquire with the medical examiner.
That's when they confirmed it was it fact Loghan Starbuck.
"The kids are doing as well as they can, and they support each other well," Marshall said. "And that's the best you can do."
Marshall is familiar with the Starbuck family because she is handling Clay Starbuck's case and getting the post-conviction DNA testing done. Clay Starbuck, the father of the victim, was convicted in 2013 of murdering his wife, but his children are convinced he is innocent of the crime.
Marshall adds that a team of five people, separate from law enforcement, put in 100 hours and 144 miles in searching for Starbuck the week after her disappearance.
Starbuck's family posted about her death on social media. They say they are still working on setting a date for a service.
The family has set up a bank account for donations with the following statement:
The Starbuck Family wants to thank everyone for the continued support. We can't thank you enough! We have opened a donation account for memorial cost, service, handling estate, and other ongoing expenses.
Donations can be made by transferring directly into the Wells Fargo account, by check, money order or walk-in to Wells Fargo.
WELLS FARGO Account #6117438405
This is an ongoing news story and we will provide more updates as we receive them.