SPOKANE, Wash – When Sharlotte McGill was randomly, brutally attacked while walking her dog on Tuffy's trail outside her apartment one Thursday morning in May, her murder went unsolved for months. She had just moved in to the complex the week prior, did not know her attacker, had done nothing to provoke it, and was stabbed 3-4 times in the upper body.
Ever since, police – and neighbors – have been searching for her killer. And now, we learn, he may have lived just a few doors away.
While police are careful to say nobody has been charged in McGill's murder, Major Crimes detectives may have caught a break in the case; they do believe there may be a link between her death and the suspect in a separate assault, 17-year-old Avondre Graham.
Police say Graham matches the description of McGill's killer, and he lived in the same apartment complex, in the building next-door.
Other residents of the complex tell KHQ, they're comforted to know this arrest may bring closure in the case.
"When I found that out this morning, that really relieved me – but scared me – because here he is right here, it could have happened to me in my apartment," neighbor Valerie Johnson told KHQ.
Other neighbors tell KHQ Graham's apartment was raided after he was arrested for assaulting a woman along Centennial Trail; however, police cannot confirm that. Neighbors describe the teenager as a quiet 17-year-old who doesn't say much, and may have mental health issues.
"We keep the kids in the house at night and stuff because of what did happen," said neighbor Katrina Granstrom. "I don't want anything to happen to my kids, so I was pretty concerned when I heard he lived just a couple doors down."
With McGill's murder left open for so long, and a killer on the loose, neighbors said they feared for their own safety.
"Very frustrating and scary," Johnson added. "It's very scary when you're afraid to even come out of your house."
Now, with a possible suspect in custody, they're hoping they can begin to regain some sense of normalcy – although their friend and neighbor who senselessly lost her life will never be forgotten.