Body found near Port Angeles Waterfront Trail


Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES, WA-- Police Sunday night were treating as a ``suspicious death'' the discovery of a young woman's body on a muddy path leading from the Waterfront Trail near Hollywood Beach.

The unidentified woman, partially clothed and with blood near her head, was found by two Port Angeles men at about 3 p.m. Sunday.

The body was about 50 feet up the cliff-side trail, about a block east of the Red Lion Hotel.

The passers-by, Jacob Slack and Jeff Price, said they were ``just walking the path'' when they saw the body's feet and shoes.

At first, they didn't realize the woman was dead, and one of the men kicked one of her shoes.

That's when they realized the woman was deceased.

``We said, ``No, that looks real. We've got to tell somebody about this,''' Slack told the PDN.

They both ran down to the Waterfront Trail -- part of the Olympic Discovery Trail system -- and got the attention of a woman passer-by, who called police on her cell phone.

'It didn't look real'

The passer-by said she accompanied the men to the scene and looked at the body just long enough to confirm it was lifeless.

"It didn't look real," she said.

Both of the men were shaken.

"I've never seen anything like this before in my life," said Price.

The men said the woman looked similar to one they had seen in an alley near Front and Lincoln streets in downtown Port Angeles about 2 a.m. Sunday.

One police officer at the scene said he thought the woman had a head wound and was the victim of a homicide.

The cliff-side path, the men said, was known to bea hang-out for homeless people. It runs from the Waterfront Trail to the 200 block of North Vine Street.

Crime scene personnel were having trouble bringing their vehicles to the area Sunday night from the Red Lion Hotel parking lot and from Francis Street Park.

Instead, they approached the area from the site of the former Rayonier pulp mill father east on the Waterfront Trail.

Washington State Crime Laboratory forensic scientists from Bremerton were on the way to the scene Sunday night.

Detectives of the Olympic Peninsula NBarcotics Task Force, or OPNET, were also investigating.

A statement issued by Port Angeles Police chief Tom Riepe on Sunday night described the woman as Caucasian, in her early 20s, and of medium height and build.

Anyone with inforamtion is asked to contact the Port Angeles Police Department at 360-452-4545.

Riepe said a 500-yard section of the Waterfront Trail between the Red Lion Hotel and the foot of Vine Street will be closed until further notice.

In other news about the Olympic Discovery Trail...

In a Port Angeles City Council meeting held on December 21, 2004...

Gary Gleason, 2211 E. 7 th Avenue, addressed three points that will impact the budget regarding the Discovery Trail issues.

He distributed pictures to the City Council which he took in September demonstrating that the trail had not been mowed, weeded, or cared for appropriately.

He stated his first concern was to see the trail better maintained, regardless of the reorganization.

Second, he asked there be a public hearing on the Gateway project and asked that bike storage and access issues be fully explored for this project. He felt a large public outreach was necessary for the success of the project.

Finally, Mr. Gleason offered his services to any appropriate to improve the Discovery Trail. He also suggested a guide book be written on the Trail, which would bring in more tourists.



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