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Spanaway boy died of asphyxiation, had bruising

Post by Stacey Mulick / The News Tribune on April 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
April 6, 2011 1:45 pm

Investigators have determined that a 5-year-old boy found dead in his Spanaway home Tuesday afternoon died of asphyxiation.

Jordan Gregory Stewart had been dead for at least 24 hours before Pierce County sheriff’s deputies found him at the home, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Wednesday. There were signs of bruising on his body, which had been wrapped in a blanket and left in a bedroom. A plastic bag was on his head.

Troyer said investigators don’t know who killed the boy but believe it was one of his parents.

“At this point, we really can’t say who killed him,” Troyer said. “The only two witnesses are gone.”

Deputies were at the home to check on Jordan after his parents were found dead after a high-speed pursuit along Interstate 5 in Thurston County.

Investigators have said they believe David Stewart shot himself after his car spun out on I-5 in Tumwater. The emaciated body of his wife, 38-year-old Kristy Sampels, was found in the front seat. She too died of a gunshot wound to the head. It’s unclear when Sampels was shot.

Troyer said Wednesday that there were signs of past abuse on Jordan’s body. The department has found no previous reports of child abuse involving the boy.

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