Body found near Spokane River identified as 51-year-old man who died of blunt force, asphyxia

The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man who court documents say was bound, gagged, blindfolded and shot before being discovered Oct. 23 near People’s Park.

Andy Hernandez, 51, died of blunt force and asphyxial injuries, the medical examiner said on his website. The office classified the death as a homicide.

A witness told police he was searching for two friends at a nearby camp when he discovered the body at about 4 pm, according to search warrant documents.

Police officers found the body on a trail between a homeless encampment and the “Mega Church Trail,” a 3-mile track that begins on the south side of Latah Creek and follows the Spokane River almost to the TJ Meenach Bridge.

Officers reported a pool of blood around Hernandez’s head and a 9 mm shell casing near his feet, as well as footprints around his body.

Hernandez’s hands were bound and had “large amounts” of blood on them from what may have been defensive wounds, court records said. A jacket or sweatshirt covered his head.

Police have not made any arrests in the case.