Sheriff: Four arrested for murder after body found in river near fire-damaged Pateros

PATEROS, Wash. -- Sheriff's deputies arrested four murder suspects Monday morning following an investigation into the death of a man found floating in the Methow River.

According to the Okanogan County Sheriff's Office, deputies were called Sunday morning to a boat launch about five miles south of Pateros on Highway 97 with report of a body in the river. Officers arrived to find the body of a Hispanic male partially submerged in the water near the shore.

Deputies said it was apparent the unidentified man was murdered, and the body had been brought to the river and dumped. The Washington State Patrol Crime Lab was brought in to help investigate.

Later Sunday, officers received a call from a man saying his cousin was missing, and was last seen around 6 p.m. Saturday. Deputies quickly determined the missing man was the victim found in the Methow River and questioned the cousin as to the man's last known whereabouts.

Deputies interviewed friends of the victim and determined the victim fought with four suspects sometime Saturday night and was killed during the fight. According to the sheriff's office, evidence showed the four suspects then transported the victim to the boat launch and dumped his body in the river.

Through witnesses interviews and investigations, police were able to identify the four suspects, Okanogan County sheriff's deputies said. They were arrested and transported to the Okanaogan County Jail.

The victim's identity has not yet been released, and the sheriff's office continues to investigate.

The town of Pateros grew infamous recently when it was severely damaged by fire earlier this summer.