The sister of a man whose dead body was found in Idaho Sept. 8 said her family has not been told much of what is happening, and is mystified as to why someone would want to kill her brother.
“It makes it harder when there are so many unanswered questions … ,” Carmen Baker of Havre said this morning. “It’s just all a big confusion to everybody. I don’t know who would want to do this, and who decided they wanted to take that power onto themselves and do something like this.”
Kendall Quinnell’s body was found in Shoshone Park, off Interstate 90 near Mulllan, Idaho. Idaho State Police are investigating his death as a homicide, but aren’t saying much. Baker said she was told he had been shot.
The Idaho agency is asking for tips from Havre, with people asked to call Lt. Aaron Wittmer of the Havre Police Department at 265-4361 with any information that could help with the investigation.
Quinnell’s family is holding a memorial service Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Fireside Room of the District 4 Human Resources Development Council building at 2229 5th Ave.
Baker was interviewed by the Shoshone News Press of Kellogg, Idaho, after she emailed the paper to complain about speculation that people were posting with stories about her brother’s death.
“I didn’t want him painted out to be a nobody-thug or something, because that’s not what he was,” Baker said. “He might not have settled down or stayed here or there or wherever very long, but he was still a person, and he was still loved.”
Quinnell was born in Virginia, and he and his family lived in several states in his early years, moving with his father, who was in the U.S. Navy.
Baker said they moved to Havre in 1983, when Quinnell was 6. He attended Havre schools, although he never graduated high school, and never really settled down, she said.
“He kind of came and went. He never really stayed in one place too long … ,” Baker said. “He was a free spirit. He liked his freedom, and he liked to kind of go here and there and then down to California. He’d just travel all over.”
She said he never kept a steady job, doing manual labor such as roofing when he could get work, “things like that.”
Baker said she and her brother were very close, growing up, and were together a lot, especially outside. He liked being outside and liked camping, she said.
She said she and her brother got along well, but he got along with just about everyone.
“He was easy going, likeable,” Baker said.
He had been back to Havre a year or so ago, then went down to where his mother lives in California, then back to Montana, staying a while in Billings, then Missoula.
She said whatever led up to Quinnell’s death is a mystery. His friends say he was in Missoula, 110 miles east of Shoshone Park, Sept. 7. No one seems to know why he would have been in Idaho the next day, Baker said.
She said the Idaho State Police have given very few details about the investigation to Quinnell’s family. She has read speculation posted with the news stories at Idaho news outlets, but she does not know if he was shot more than once, if police believe he was shot where the body was found or if the body was moved, or much about the investigation.
“Nobody’s told us anything,” she said.
She added that she hopes the investigation moves quickly.
“It will be nice for my family to get some answers,” Baker said.