BASIN CITY -- County and state officials were investigating Friday the violent death of an 88-year-old Basin City man.
The body of Frank V. Sanches was found by his daughter about 10 a.m. Friday when she went to check on him at his home in the 1400 block of Fairway Road, two miles west of Basin City, said Franklin County Sheriff Richard Lathim.
Sanches' daughter told officials she last talked to him at 5:30 Thursday evening.
"There's blood at the scene; it appears to be a violent death," said Lathim, who declined to say how Sanches died.
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Sanches, a longtime Franklin County resident, lived in a duplex in a migrant worker community about 28 miles north of Pasco.
"It's a little bit peculiar to have an elderly man attacked in his own home and left for dead," Lathim said. "It's hard to understand what could have been the motivation there."
Lathim said state crime lab investigators would be collecting evidence at the home and would try to determine if anything was taken.
Lathim said he didn't believe area residents need to be concerned for their safety.
"It's a little bit isolated," he said. "If it was a robbery, people probably knew he lived alone and maybe knew him."
Sanches' death is rural Franklin County's first homicide since 2006.
That's when 26-year-old Virginia Ortiz- Espaa is accused of leaving her premature newborn baby in a garbage can near Mesa.
After she came to Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco for treatment, she told authorities the baby was stillborn.
As part of a rare Franklin County coroner's inquest, a jury ruled that the baby's death was a homicide and Ortiz- Espaa was charged with second-degree murder. She had returned to Mexico before the inquest, and there is an outstanding warrant for her arrest.
Lathim said he believes a decrease in drug activity across the area has helped reduce the number of violent deaths in the region. He credits the Metro Drug Task Force and increased visibility of deputies for that.
"It seems like most of our homicides in the past were related to narcotics," he said.