Meghann M. Cuniff –
A Spokane diving instructor romantically linked to a woman who was found shot to death on New Year’s Day has been arrested as a suspect in her murder.
Daniel R. Arteaga, 40, was arrested at the Public Safety Building Tuesday after voluntarily reporting there for an interview.
He is expected to appear in Spokane County Superior Court Wednesday afternoon via video from the jail, where he is booked on a first-degree murder charge.
Detectives searched his home at 19329 E. Valleyway Ave. in east Spokane Valley Tuesday “acquiring all the evidence that we possibly can,” said Deputy Craig Chamberlin, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
Arteaga is accused of killing Kimberly Rae Schmidt, 34, who was found dead of a gunshot wound to her head Jan. 1.
Schmidt, who has a 13-year-old daughter, was killed about two and a half weeks after she and Arteaga were notified of two pending civil lawsuits regarding scuba diving accidents: one that left a man dead and another that allegedly left a woman with brain damage.
Arteaga and Schmidt worked part time for the Scuba Center of Spokane.
Schmidt was expected to be a key witness in the lawsuits.
Arteaga’s arrest came less than two weeks after he sued Schmidt’s mother and her estate for property damages, alleging her family was withholding diving gear and other property from him.