Clallam County officials hopeful about lead in identifying dead woman found near site of former Elwha Dam
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Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Clallam County Sheriff's Deputy Amy Bundy confers with another deputy while guarding the access to Lower Dam Road west of Port Angeles on Thursday after a body was found in the woods near the site of the former Elwha Dam.

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County sheriff's detectives hope they have found a significant lead as they seek to identify a woman found last week dead of a single gunshot wound to the head thought to be self-inflicted.

Ron Cameron, chief criminal sheriff's deputy, said a Seattle-area woman thinks she might have known the woman, who has not been identified.

The woman contacted investigators after reading a Peninsula Daily News story about the body being found off Lower Dam Road near the site of the former Elwha Dam at about 4 p.m. Thursday.

Cameron said the body appeared to have been there for about a week.

The possible acquaintance's description of the dead woman generally matched the height and weight of the body, Cameron said.

“[Investigators are] not sure it's her, but there's a lot of information here that makes it seem probable we may be on the right track,” Cameron said.

Clallam County Detective Sgt. John Keegan said no identifying information, such as identification or credit cards, was found on the body.

The woman had a small backpack with her with some hiking essentials, such as a water bottle and snacks, Keegan said.

Revolver found

Cameron said that in addition to the single wound, a revolver was found near the body.

“It's consistent with [a] self-inflicted [wound],” Cameron said.

“We have found nothing that should suggest any foul play,” he said.

The investigation continues into the cause of the woman's death.

Cameron said an autopsy on the woman was being done Friday afternoon.

The body was found by Washington Conservation Corps workers about 65 yards off Lower Dam Road, after it turns into a gravel road, in a wooded area accessed by a narrow pathway.

Cameron said the woman was white and appeared to have graying or light-brown hair.

Neither Cameron nor Keegan could estimate the woman's age.

Keegan said investigators have followed up on various leads called in since the body was discovered to try to determine who the woman was.

Those who think they might have information about the woman are urged to phone the Sheriff's Office at 360-417-2459.

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: October 19. 2013 10:57PM
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