Remains of an adult male found near Kenmore and Kirkland border

King County Sheriff
King County Sheriff's Office officials search an approximately 40 foot area in a densely wooded area on the Bastyr University campus on Friday afternoon, where two students found a human skull and other remains on Thursday morning.
— image credit: Matt Phelps/Kirkland Reporter

Two students found the remains of an adult male near the Kenmore and Kirkland border on a remote corner of the Bastyr University campus in St. Edwards State Park early Thursday morning.

King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Major Crimes detectives were out at the scene by 1 p.m. on Friday searching a small 40-foot area, about 10 feet from a busy trail. King County Search and Rescue planned to search a larger area Saturday.

“Today we are looking for teeth because teeth are very instrumental in finding the (person’s) identification,” said King County Sheriff’s Sgt. Katie Larson, noting the remains were a skull and some “long bones.” “We have to rule out foul play. We are hoping to find clothing and additional remains.”

Despite the area being in St. Edwards State Park, Bastyr University officials at the scene confirmed that the location is on the campus.

Larson said that the cause of death was unknown and that it is an active investigation.

The King County Medical Examiner confirmed Thursday the remains were human.

The two students who found the bones while walking off a main trail, reported the finding to campus officials who called Kenmore police. KCSO authorities brought the remains to the King County Medical Examiner.

Larson said that if the team is unable to find teeth they will have to rely on DNA. No tissue was found at the scene.

The Sergeant said that once KCSO is able to identify the remains they will look at missing person’s reports. Then the priority will be to contact the family.

The remains were found near some garbage and a discarded box but Larson said the human remains had been there for at least a year and maybe several more.

About 10 people with KCSO, including forensic anthropologists, were out searching the area with everything from metal detectors to sifters, shovels and rakes. The area where the bones were found is “very wooded and dense,” said Larson.

“It is a matter of identifying and then working back to develop a history,” said Larson of the process to identify to whom the bones belong.

The trails in St. Edwards State Park are heavily used by hikers and mountain bikers. The site of the remains is about 100 feet into the park from the intersection of N.E. Juanita Drive and N.E. 143rd Street.

King County officials said that they have a lot of experience with outdoor crime scenes.

“Many of us out here do have that experience from the Green River Killer (Gary Ridgeway),” said Larson, who worked on that case.

Larson said that St. Edwards State Park and Finn Hill is not known for having crime of this nature.


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