Dead man left overnight in Idaho fitness center

Plummer, Idaho (AP) 10-08

A man died in the steam room of the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Wellness Center, and his body wasn’t discovered until the next day, the county coroner says.

A maintenance worker found the body of Thomas Dodge, nearly 10 hours after the man checked in.

Benewah County Coroner Ron Hodge said the 66-year-old Fairfield resident was a regular at the center who often used the steam room after swimming. He died of a heart attack, Hodge said.


A woman working the front desk told tribal police she’d told Dodge he didn’t look good when she checked him in and he replied that he didn’t feel good and was having a bad day, Hodge said.

“Apparently, no one checked how he was doing when they locked up and went home,” Hodge told The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. “I’m just amazed that if they’re going to check someone in why they don’t check them out, but that’s not for me to criticize.”

Tribal spokesman Marc Stewart said closing procedures at the center require a walkthrough to make sure no one is in the building. Center officials will decide whether to change procedures after an investigation.

The coroner said Dodge apparently tried to stand up from a bench when he collapsed from the heart attack and likely died instantly.