Ballistics tests show that a Yakima teenager who was killed on a hunting trip in northeast Washington was not shot by a gun belonging to him or any of the half-dozen relatives in his group, investigators said Thursday.
Sergio Tinajero, 16, died from a single gunshot wound on Nov. 15. He was part of a group hunting in Pend Oreille County. The sheriff’s office there has been investigating his death.
Authorities said Tinajero was hunting with six other family members, his father, grandfather, uncle and three cousins, when the incident occurred in a forested area about 13 miles west of Newport. Deputies said his body was a quarter-mile down a logging road and about 200 yards into the woods.
An autopsy showed Tinajero died from a single gunshot wound.
Investigators recovered the bullet that caused Tinajero’s death and submitted it to the Washington State Crime Laboratory for ballistics testing.
In addition, all firearms submitted by family members, plus Tinajero’s gun, were submitted to the laboratory, where testing showed none caused the death, according to a news release issued Thursday by the Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies say a sweep of surrounding properties has not produced any leads for the source of the gunshot.
“All family members in the hunting party have been extremely cooperative with investigators during interviews and evidence collection process,” the news release said.
Family members told investigators that Tinajero had become separated from other members of the hunting party and failed to respond to radio calls about 1 p.m., when they started looking for him, the release said.
Sometime after 3 p.m. his body was discovered by his father, investigators said.
Investigators have canvassed surrounding properties, resulting in no investigative leads.