Real Name: Russell Sigurd Evans
Location: Spokane, Washington
Date: June 4, 1989
Details: At 1:05am on the morning of June 4, 1989, thirteen-year-old Russell Evans was found lying in the street after an apparent hit-and-run accident. As Sandy Ferris and her friend waited for paramedics to arrive, Russell repeatedly called out someone named Brian for help. At 1:30am, he was taken to a nearby hospital where doctors tried to save his life. Tragically, at 9:10am, he died of his injuries. The police ruled that he had died after being struck by a car. His family believes he wasn't hit by a car, but was actually the victim of a beating by a teen-aged street gang he had encountered.
Russell was an eighth-grader who played basketball and had several close friends. On the night of June 3, Russell was hanging out at a park with his friend Aaron when Aaron got into an argument with another kid over Aaron's girlfriend. The argument almost turned physical until Russell intervened. Russell was threatened by the other guys at the park, so he and Aaron left. They then spent the rest of the night at a friend's house until Russell left around midnight. He then called his father and told him that he was heading home. A few minutes later, he ran into his friend Seyd who was the last person to see him alive.
Authorities believe that minutes later, Russell was struck from behind by an unknown vehicle, possibly a pickup truck. As a result of the impact by the vehicle, he was separated from his shoes and landed seventy-five feet from where he was struck. A forensic pathologist agreed, believing that Russell was struck in the back by a vehicle bumper. Overall, he felt that the injuries were consistent with an accident.
However, his family did not believe that his death was a hit-and-run accident. Russell was found next to the medium strip on Thor Avenue, less than two blocks from his home. His shoes and shoelaces were found downhill, eighty-six feet away. Strangely, his shoelaces actually separated from his shoes. Three pools of blood were found, approximately fifty feet away from his body. The pools of blood did not make sense, since he had supposedly been thrown far away from where they were found.
After receiving the police reports, his parents discovered that the investigators had not marked where his body was found. Eyewitness Sandy Ferris helped them determine where she found the body. A second pathologist was brought in and determined that he had been in a fight prior to his death. Bruising found on his back appeared to be inconsistent with a hit-and-run.
Russell's parents believe that he ran into the people from the park and was attacked, possibly with a baseball bat or a 2 X 4. However, the police ruled them out as suspects in the case.
His parents believe his friend Brian might have been at the scene because Russell kept yelling his name when he was found. Also, Sandy had noticed a teenager in white shorts running up the hill near the scene. However, when Russell's father talked with Brian, he denied any knowledge of this. He did state that he was wearing white shorts on the night of Russell's death. Interestingly, when Russell's mother arrived at the hospital, she learned that someone named Brian had called, asking about Russell's condition. One theory is that Brian is being threatened to keep quiet about the murder. Russell's death remains unsolved.
Suspects: No known suspects; police located the people whom Aaron and Russell were arguing with the night of his death and cleared them as suspects. However, Russell's parents believe that the teens from the park were responsible for his death. They believe that they found him while he was walking home, and that they struck him with a blunt object, either a baseball bat or a 2 X 4.
Extra Notes: This segment originally aired on the January 9, 1991 episode of Unsolved Mysteries.
Results: Unsolved. In 1996, a new witness came forward claiming to have heard one of the people whom Aaron and Russell had gotten into an argument with at the park confess to killing Russell and running him over with a car. Other witnesses also came forward, claiming that one of the suspects had boasted about killing him. Some of the witnesses claimed that the suspects had threatened them into silence. However, despite the new witnesses coming forward, the police continue to insist it was a hit-and-run accident. Prosecutors have declined to charge anyone in this case.
Sadly, both of Russell's parents are now deceased. His father died in 1998, and his mother passed away in 2011. His sister Diana is still hoping to find out what really happened to him.
- Russell Evans on Unsolved.com
- Police rule out gang violence in youth's death - June 10, 1989
- Parents say death was no accident - April 20, 1990
- Accident or murder? - April 20, 1990
- TV crews are back in town to document teenager's death - October 25, 1990
- TV show shoots segment on local teen's death - October 26, 1990
- Segment on boy's death to lead show - January 8, 1991
- Spokane police sued over reports on death - August 1, 1991
- City must pay attorney costs in couple's suit - February 22, 1992
- Parents file grievance over probe of son's death - July 27, 1992
- Reward is dad's latest effort in long hunt for son's killer - February 27, 1996
- Killing: Private detective finds 'prime suspects' - February 27, 1996
- New Witnesses Come Forward in Teen's Death - March 1, 1996
- Protestors want action in boy's death - April 7, 1996
- Deliberately botched murder probe may yet be solved - May 13, 1998
- Cold Case Files: Somebody was watching - November 12, 2019
- ‘This isn’t over’: Spokane woman seeks justice for murdered brother, families of cold case victims - February 13, 2020
- Family of 1989 Spokane homicide victim petitions for dedicated cold case unit - January 30, 2021
- Russell Evans at Find a Grave
- SitcomsOnline Discussion of Russell Evans