Thursday, 18 July 2024

Family waits for arrests in young woman's murder

The family of Heather Anderson are still waiting for answers into the young woman's fatal stabbing on Thursday, December 17, 2009. Courtesy photo.



LAKE COUNTY – More than a month after a former Lake County resident was stabbed to death, investigators are offering few clues about the crime, arrests are yet to be made and a mother says her family is waiting for justice.


Heather Danielle Anderson, 24, formerly of Nice, was fatally stabbed at the Colville Indian Reservation near Omak, Wash., on Dec. 17, as Lake County News has reported.


The one-month anniversary of the young woman's death that just passed was very hard on her family, according to her mother, Diana Anderson of Paradise, who said she misses her daughter more every day.


Heather Anderson, a member of the Robinson Rancheria Band of Pomo, had gone to Washington late last year to assist a friend with moving to the Colville Indian Reservation, Diana Anderson said.


In the early morning hours of Dec. 17, Heather Anderson was stabbed once in the left clavicle, which severed her jugular vein, her mother said.


Diana Anderson said her daughter's death certificate noted that the young woman would have died quickly from the wound.


Additionally, the autopsy noted no defensive wounds on the young woman. Diana Anderson believes her daughter would have fought if she had been able to do so, and that she may have been held down.


The Federal Bureau of Investigation took over the case from Colville Tribal Police shortly after Anderson was killed.


Last month, FBI Agent Frank Harrill told Lake County News that the investigation into Anderson's death could be “a relatively lengthy process.”


Several calls to the FBI's Spokane office for an update on the case were not returned.


Diana Anderson said she spoke with an FBI agent last week who told her that evidence was still being processed at laboratories in Washington, DC.


When she headed north to Washington in November, Heather Anderson was still recovering from a June auto collision that nearly took her life and left her with serious injuries, both physically and mentally. However, her family said she was working hard to get back to being independent.


Diana Anderson has been searching for clues in her daughter's death, and points to some strange facts in the case.


Although Heather Anderson's autopsy said her death occurred at about 1:30 a.m. Dec. 17. It was nearly three hours later that two male subjects – not the friend with whom she was staying – took her to the hospital. She was pronounced dead at 4:22 a.m.


Heather Anderson's friend at the Colville reservation, “Shannon,” has denied any involvement, although the previous day she was reportedly seen at the home of another woman said to have been involved in the fatal altercation, Diana Anderson said.


When Diana Anderson asked to have her daughter's belongings sent home, she said Shannon told her she burned everything, claiming it was tribal tradition. Diana Anderson, who is American Indian along with the rest of her family, questioned that.


“There's something off the wall right there,” she said, explaining that it was up to her family and tribe to decide what traditions to follow for her daughter, not a person from another tribe like Shannon.


She said her daughter called her two days before she was murdered and said she needed to tell her something, but couldn't discuss it over the phone. Then just before her death, Heather Anderson called to ask for a plane ticket home.


Diana Anderson thinks her daughter saw or heard something that may have made her a target. In the days before she died, some of her possessions also were stolen, and she had just received some money from her mother for travel and purchasing Christmas presents for friends in Washington.


The Anderson family currently is working to get assistance from the FBI's Victim Witness division and looking into other avenues of getting help on the case.


“Will we get the complete story?” Diana Anderson asked. “I don't know.”


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

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