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Suspects arrested, victim identified in Evergreen murder

Posted at 2:21 PM, Apr 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-28 16:21:50-04

The investigation into Wednesday night’s murder in Evergreen continues and now two people have been arrested.

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry says that Cecil Thomas Rice, 26, and Heather Joy Meeker, 25, are facing homicide charges in the case.

Both are said to be transients.

Rice has been charged with deliberate homicide and tampering with evidence; Meeker is accused of accountability to deliberate homicide and tampering with evidence.

Sheriff Curry has also identified the victim, but his name is being withheld pending further investigation and notification of next of kin.

Curry says that just after 7 p.m. on Wednesday, authorities received a report of a man in the Flathead River near the Old Steel Bridge on Holt Stage. 

Curry says the man was seen by witnesses floating down the river in obvious distress and eventually slipped under the surface of the water.  

Information from witnesses indicates that the man was seen with three other people on the Old Steel Bridge. 

The victim’s body has not yet been recovered.

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office, assisted by Flathead Search and Rescue, continue to search the Flathead River with Sheriff Curry saying the efforts will continue throughout the weekend. 

Sheriff Curry says the details of this homicide remain under investigation, and further interviews and investigation are ongoing in the case.

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