Bob Tester, 35, was found brutally murdered at his home just outside of Spokane, Washington, September 6. His young daughter was allegedly told by the killer to “stay in bed” before the gruesome scene unfolded.
Tester is the nephew of Democratic Montana Sen. Jon Tester.
The cause of death was multiple injuries to the head and stab wounds about the chest and abdomen, the Spokane County medical examiner confirmed September 8.
Authorities don’t believe the killing was a random act of violence, and are asking for the public’s assistance.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Killer Told Tester’s Daughter to ‘Stay in Bed Because He Was Going to Kill Her Dad’
Homicide investigators suspect Tester, originally from Montana, may have been killed with a wood-splitting ax as his 8-year-old daughter was told to stay in a bedroom.
Tester was found dead in his living room in a pool of blood on September 6, according to court documents obtained by KREM.
The documents said that Tester’s daughter told officers she was in bed with her father when a man entered the house brandishing a sword and a knife.
Authorities said the girl was awakened by sounds of an attack, and found the armed man over her father, KBZK reported.
”The man told her to stay in bed because he was going to kill her dad,” court documents said.
Deputy Mark Gregory said the girl wasn’t physically harmed and didn’t likely witness the killing, though she called her grandmother to report his death.
The child’s grandmother then called 911.
A Gofundme Account was made to help the little girl. You can donate here.
2. He Is the Nephew of a U.S. Senator
U.S. Sen. Jon Tester’s press office confirmed that Bob was his nephew and said “his family would prefer privacy during this difficult time,” The Spokesman-Review reported September 7.
“My family and I would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of support during this very difficult time,” Jon Tester tweeted September 8.
The senator’s biography reads:
In the U.S. Senate, Jon is an outspoken voice for rural America. He is an advocate for small businesses who has hosted numerous Small Business Opportunity Workshops across Montana to serve thousands of business owners and entrepreneurs. He is a champion of responsible energy development, sportsmen’s issues, clean air and water, Indian nations, women’s access to care, and quality health care for all of America’s veterans—no matter where they live.
3. He Posted a Cryptic Message to Facebook August 28
A detective cited the above Facebook post from Tester in court documents, CBS reported. Tester spoke of a man who took his “best friend” away from him, and said he “took her life into darkness, thru drugs and manipulation.” “There’s gonna be some hard days ahead of us but I want you all to know that I was victimized by someone close to me,” he stated.
Friends of the slain man are expressing their grief on social media. Geoff Warr posted to Facebook:
I graduated high school with Bob Tester in 2000 from CMR. He was the life of the party. This is tragic. Please keep his family in your prayers. Especially his 8 year old daughter.
“My heart aches for his family especially his daughter,” Angie Meseke said on Facebook. “Bob was always so kind to everyone no matter who you were & had a great sense of humor. Praying for his family especially his daughter! RIP kind sir!”
4. He Reportedly Grew Pot & Sold it to Dispensaries
Near the bloodied ax used to kill Tester were bags of marijuana, authorities said.
Police also found multiple bags of marijuana near Tester’s body in the living room, and said there was an aroma of weed throughout the home.
According to authorities, Tester’s family said they weren’t surprised and the grandmother said he grew his own weed and sold it to medical marijuana dispensaries.
5. Police Are Asking for the Public’s Help & Don’t Believe the Murder Was a Random Act
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office asked for the public’s assistance in a press release, and there are no known suspects at this time.
The press release stated:
Spokane County Major Crime Detectives, along with the Spokane County Forensics Unit, were called to conduct the investigation and process the scene for evidence. With the initial information received, investigators do not believe this was a random act of violence. Anyone with any information regarding this investigation is urged to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.
*This story is being updated as information becomes available.