Detectives working a 51-year-old series of murders in the Spokane area finally found a suspect they believed was responsible for one and possibly three of them, only to find he died just before he was going to be arrested in Alabama, last week.

Duke J Pierson, 85,  then a 34-year-old Detective for the Spokane County Sheriff's Department, was believed to be a suspect in the death of 31-year-old Dorothy Fielding. She had been reported missing in August of 1967, her body was later found in 1968 near the 7-Mile ORV park which is near the 9-Mile Falls District Northwest of town.

Police were also trying to link him to the disappearance and death of his 33-year-old wife Sandra Pearson, who reportedly committed suicide September 12th 1967, as well as the disappearance and death of 47-year-old Ruby Lampson. She had been reported missing June 6th of that year.

Lampson's body, or skeletal remains, were found in 1971 near the 7-mile park as well. The suspect was known to be having an affair with the 31-year-old Fielding, all parties involved frequented the Falls View Tavern. The tavern has long since been gone. Lampson was said to be a worker at the tavern.

At the time of the murders the 7-mile area was considered very remote, as development had not reached that far north.

In 2018 Spokane County Detectives reopened the cold case after receiving a call asking about the cases. After a reworking of the evidence, authorities were able to put together a case and charge Pierson with murder. They obtained a warrant, and were going to head to Covington County Alabama when they found out Pierson had died 3 days earlier due to natural causes, from failing health.

However, detectives continue to investigate and are still seeking information. They're trying to piece together what happened, only this time they won't be able to use information from the prime suspect in the case as he is dead.

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