Backpack found in Yakima River

By Tyler Richardson, Tri-City HeraldJuly 15, 2013 

Police may have found a crucial piece of evidence in the investigation into the murder of a 17-year-old Richland boy.

An investigator found a backpack Monday in the Yakima River that matches the one a suspect in Josh Snapp's slaying reportedly tossed in the river before being arrested, said Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb.

Police had been searching for the backpack -- which is believed to contain two pairs of shoes and the gun used in the crime -- since the shooting July 4.

Two suspects, Joshua H. Hunt, 19, and John. C.I. Young, 18, each have been charged in Benton County Superior Court with first-degree murder.

Hunt and Young lured Snapp to a remote desert area in Richland to smoke marijuana, court documents said. They allegedly took turns shooting their friend with a revolver and left his body.

Hunt was arrested at a Benton City gas station a little more than an hour after the shooting, court documents said. Hunt told police he put the gun and their shoes into the backpack and tossed it in the river before being arrested.

Hunt and Young allegedly had shoe boxes in the car trunk with new shoes to change into after the slaying.

Security footage shows Hunt carrying what looks to be a backpack as he ran from the gas station, court documents said. Hunt was "dripping wet" and claimed to be "despondent" when he was approached by sheriff's deputies.

Young initially was believed to be a witness to the shooting. He alerted the store clerk to call 911, saying someone had just been shot, and drove with a Richland officer in the front seat of a car to the police station.

A detective questioning Hunt in another room at the police station learned Young also fired a shot at Snapp.

Police will release more information about the backpack once it is examined, Cobb said.

-- Tyler Richardson: 582-1556;; Twitter: @Ty_richardson

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