Murder Suspect's Body Found
Updated On: Feb 13 2012 08:32:13 AM CST
After a 60-hour manhunt that stretched across Spokane over the weekend the body of triple murder suspect Dustin Gilman was found in the Wandermere area Monday morning.
Shortly before KXLY 4 sources confirmed that Gilman's body had been found, Spokane Police spokesperson Officer Jennifer DeRuwe confirmed that the police are investigating the discovery of a body in the Wandermere / Little Spokane River area and were waiting for the Medical Examiner to make a positive identification of the body.
Several hours later the police department confirmed that the body was in fact Gilman's.
The area had been searched previously by the Spokane Police Department Saturday morning, who knew Gilman was in the vicinity from his cellphone transmissions.
They didn't find him over the weekend but returned Monday with patrol officers, K-9s and the SWAT Team and it was a K-9 that found Gilman's remains behind a house in the 900 block of West Hazard on a rocky plateau between the home and the Little Spokane River.
The place where Gilman was found is called Indian Head Rock, a scenic vista overlooking the Little Spokane River.
"We're not certain how he got out here," Spokane Police Chief Scott Stephens said. "That's one of the things still under investigation. He did not walk here from the crime scene and so we are still trying to determine how he got here and what brought him here."
It was Gilman's father Larry who told detectives that his son was familiar with shallow caves in the Wandermere area, the same area where cell phone transmissions indicated Gilman had made a phone call to his dad Friday night.
A relative of Gilman's said that Dustin called his father, Larry Gilman, Friday night and ?spilled the beans.? The family member said that Dustin Gilman was somewhere in the woods and apologized for everything he'd done in his past. He also admitted to killing Tracy Ader and her sons and said he did not want to go back to prison.
The relative said Gilman's father tried to talk to him for as long as possible, but eventually Gilman said 'goodbye' and then they heard what sounded like a gunshot followed by the sound of rain hitting the phone.
"We had a rather large search area we were looking at based on some information we received on cell phone usage," Chief Stephens said.
Sheriff's deputies flew over the area this weekend in Air One but did it during bad weather. Spokane Police came back with the SWAT Team and K-9s Monday morning and found Gilman's perch.
"This morning we developed additional information that narrowed the scope of our search and so we were able to go to a smaller area and used a combination of our SWAT and K-9 units to recover the remains," Stephens said.
The recovery of Gilman's body brought to an end the search but not the investigation into last week's murders of Tracy Ader and her sons Damien and Kaiden.
Early Saturday morning the Spokane Police Department's Major Crimes unit pulled Tracy Ader's body from her home on North Whitehouse, the bodies of her two boys Damien and Kaiden not far behind. Police said the two boys had been strangled while Tracy was tied up and shot.
Their deaths triggered a manhunt that zeroed in on Dustin Gilman, a man who had been taken in by the family and was living at their home.
Gilman had been staying in the basement at the Ader's home. Nick Ader, Tracy's husband, was in the hospital and when Tracy went to visit him Gilman was supposed to be watching the boys.
On Friday morning around 9:45 Willard Elementary called to report that Damien and Kaiden were not in school. Tracy Ader left the hospital and went home to check on her boys. She was never seen alive again.
Tracy Ader and her sons were discovered by someone who went to their home and found a body shortly after 7 p.m. Friday. Within hours of their bodies being found Spokane Police identified Gilman as a suspect in their killings.
"He didn't have a violent bone in his body, he loved kids more than anything else. We tried to get Dustin help for many years unfortunately it didn't help," Dustin's father Larry Gilman said.
Larry Gilman said his son called on a cell phone Friday night and confessed to the murders. He then heard what sounded like a gunshot. Detectives, meanwhile, were focusing on finding an SUV Gilman took from the Ader family. They found it abandoned Sunday afternoon.
"We did check the immediate area just to be sure and we did check a couple family members who live nearby. We checked their houses to make sure he hadn't tried to break in there or go there for a place to hide out," Spokane Major Crimes Detective Sergeant Mark Griffiths said.
Dustin Gilman was 20-years-old when KXLY4 reporter Jeff Humphrey interviewed him while he was working on an inmate crew in June 2010. At the time he was serving time for stealing and pawing his father's television and 60 DVDs from a friend.
Records show Gilman's criminal history started with burglary at nine-years-old. At ten he was arrested for throwing a dodge ball at a teacher. At 11 he was charged with taking a vehicle without permission and malicious mischief. When he was 12 he was arrested for spitting in a counselors face and threatening to blow up her house.
Gilman was consistently in trouble and in and out of juvenile detention for charges including burglary, obstructing a law enforcement officer and escape.
In 2010 his girlfriend filed a restraining order, claiming Dustin Gilman threatened to come over with a gun to kidnap their daughter. Court documents say he threatened to kill himself if she didn't take him back.
Larry Gilman, Dustin's father, said his family did everything they could to help him, they put him in boy's homes but Dustin refused the help.
Cell phone triangulation and patrol dogs finally led police to Gilman Monday morning. A life of crime that began with burglary when he was nine ended with three murders ended and the 22-year-old convicted felon dead on a cliff overlooking the Little Spokane River.
Gilman's body was recovered and was taken to Holy Family Hospital where the medical examiner will determine his cause of death.
KXLY4's Jeff Humphrey, Aaron Luna and Erik Loney contributed to this report.
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