No cause yet in 'suspicious death'

Spokane medical examiner plans to reveal cause next week

More than a month has passed since Thomas R. Schoolcraft, 39, was found dead in a Plummer trailer home across from the Coeur d'Alene Tribe headquarters.

As of Friday, there remains no official cause of death.

That might change next week.

Benewah County Coroner Ron Hodge said Friday the Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office, which conducted the autopsy on Schoolcraft, plans to reveal a cause of death sometime next week.

"I've never seen anything like this," Hodge said, speaking of the wait for answers in this case.

A representative for the medical examiner's office referred calls about Schoolcraft's autopsy results to Hodge.

He said the medical examiner's office has been focusing its investigation on Schoolcraft's spine and neck area.

The FBI investigated the death, but officials for the bureau have declined to provide details on what they are calling a "suspicious death."

Joseph L. James, 28, of Plummer, has been arrested in connection with Schoolcraft's death. James is reportedly Schoolcraft's cousin.

James is facing multiple charges, including criminal homicide, under Coeur d'Alene Tribal code. He remains in custody at the Kootenai County jail on $500,000 bond.

James has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Read More Local News

One special night

February 27, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press POST FALLS — Carol Edstrom looked in the mirror Saturday and saw the beautiful woman she is. Her nails matched her red dress and her curled hair brushed the tops of her shoulders. After getting pamp...

Read More

Demand for child protection services runs high

February 27, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Petitions for child protection services rose dramatically in Kootenai County last year. The county’s number of requests for services for children removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect ...

Read More

County takes first step toward staffing jail expansion

February 27, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By BRIAN WALKER Staff Writer COEUR d'ALENE — Kootenai County has taken the first step toward staffing the jail expansion that is expected to be completed in late 2018. Commissioners have approve...

Read More

Could we see a new El Nino later this year?

February 27, 2017 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press For many years, we’ve been talking about the fluctuation of sea-surface temperatures and their influence over global weather patterns. In early 2016, we were coming out of one of the strongest El Nin...

Read More