Homicide suspect refuses to appear in court; victim ID’d as Providence Sacred Heart worker

April 6, 2019

The suspect in an East Upriver Drive homicide refused to appear before a judge on Friday, according to a Spokane County District Court manager, but is likely to make an appearance Monday.

The victim, Edna Patricia Hernandez, 47, who also went by Edna Patricia Rodriguez-Gomez, died from multiple stab wounds, according to the Spokane County Medical Examiner.

Court documents state that the suspect, Joseph W. K. Scheel, 28, was in a relationship with Hernandez Past calls to 911 made by Hernandez indicate reports of abuse in the relationship.

Hernandez had called police on March 11, reporting she had returned from Mexico and found two women in the apartment. Court documents said one of the women said Scheel was trading drugs for sex with the other woman. Hernandez had also reported that Scheel grabbed her neck when he found out she had called 911, court documents stated.

Hernandez worked at Providence Sacred Heart, and had checked herself into the emergency room on March 28 after being thrown out of a car, she told staff, but later changed her story and said she fell out of the car, according to court documents.

On April 2, a coworker called police to request a welfare check on Hernandez when she did not show up to work for the second day in a row, according to court documents. That day, a woman called police to report that a man attempted to grab her purse in north Spokane, and the license plate number she gave to police matched Hernandez’s car.

When deputies arrived at the apartment, they reported the door was blocked. Scheel refused to open the door, but fearing for the safety of Hernandez, police forcibly entered the apartment, according to court documents.

Scheel was already wanted by police on a felony warrant in Idaho for possession of drugs, and was arrested after a brief struggle with deputes, according to court documents.

Hernandez was found dead in the apartment with an apparent stab wound to her neck and other locations on her body. Scheel had scratches on his face and upper body, according to court documents.

Deputies found two knives on Scheel and another by Hernandez’s body. Court documents allege there was evidence Scheel attempted to clean the blood.