Boise residents talk about body found outside their apartment complex

kmoeller@idahostatesman.comMarch 23, 2014 

A Boise mom stumbled into the middle of bloody death scene outside her Boise apartment complex Saturday night.

Police said a man in his 50s was found dead in the parking lot at the Westside Place Apartments, near Five Mile Road and Fairview Avenue. They had no updates about the incident Sunday, nor did the Ada County Coroner's Office. An autopsy has not yet been done.

So residents of the apartment complex and others have been left to wonder: Was the man murdered?

Three Westside residents said Sunday that the body of the man — whose vehicle was unfamiliar to all of them — was actually found in an empty pond within about 20 feet of his car. They watched officers carry the man to the parking lot.

Sarah Schaber, who has lived at the apartment complex for two years and has a 19-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter, was the first to notice that something was amiss. She said she had returned home at about 8 p.m. when she noticed an unfamiliar red car near her apartment.

She saw the driver's side door was ajar, and she approached it to see if it was one of her son's friends dropping him off.

Schaber didn't find anyone in the car but what she did find would have startled anyone: Blood spatters on the ground outside the car, and a large amount of blood in the center console of the four-door Subaru hatchback. The keys were sitting in the front seat, she said.

Her first thought was that someone had cut their hand and was bleeding profusely. But as she retreated from the car, she noticed a trail of blood leading away from the car toward an empty pond — full of large rocks but no water. That's when she decided to go inside and call 911.

Schaber's neighbor, Bryan Kasparek, said he was napping before the bloody car was discovered. He didn't hear any commotion outside, he said. Nor did Maria Madrid, whose apartment is closest to where the car was parked.

"Two cops knocked on my door and asked if we heard any noise, or anybody arguing," Madrid said. "They said they wanted us to stay inside."

Kasparek and Madrid's grand nephews said they saw officers carry the body of the man out of the rocky pond area. Firefighters washed away blood from the parking lot before the scene was cleared before midnight.

Children at Westside Place were riding their bikes and playing Sunday in the area where the incident occurred, unfazed or unaware of what transpired the night before. Neither Schaber nor Kasparek were concerned about their own safety.

"I think it was just a by-chance thing. I still feel secure," said Kasparek, who has lived at Westside only since January.

He and Schaber speculated that the man was fatally wounded by someone else at another location and was possibly trying to get away or go to a friend's apartment.

Katy Moeller: 377-6413

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