Autopsy to ID body found; authorities suspect person is missing man from Kitsap County

Stanley Okumoto, who has been missing from Kitsap County.

Stanley Okumoto, who has been missing from Kitsap County.

NEAH BAY — An autopsy will be performed by early next week on a body found Wednesday floating in the Strait of Juan de Fuca 4 miles east of Neah Bay, Clallam County Coroner-Prosecuting Attorney Mark Nichols said Thursday.

The autopsy will occur as early as today, Nichols said.

“Otherwise, it will likely be Monday or the early part of next week,” he added.

A 2002 Ford Escort belonging to Kitsap County resident Stanley Okumoto, who went missing Sept. 18, was found parked Sept. 19 at a state Highway 112 turnout about 1½ miles east of where the body was discovered Wednesday, Brian King, Clallam County chief criminal deputy, said Thursday.

King said the remains could be Okumoto’s.

“Certainly that’s where our investigation is taking us,” he said.

“We will prove or disprove that real soon, just based on the autopsy.

“Some articles of clothing may aid us in identification.”

Okumoto, an Asian-American, was last seen wearing black shorts and a tan jacket with “Denali Park Alaska” embroidered on the front.

He is about 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds.

The remains were too decomposed to determine the gender, King said, adding that dental records are being sought from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

The body could have stayed submerged in the area due to the cold water temperature, King said.

Okumoto has suffered strokes in the past, takes medications and walks with a cane.

“He could have simply been walking along the beach and at his age got hit by a rogue wave,” King said.

“It’s a twisty, windy road out there, with not a lot of beach in places.”

A tourist who had parked in a turnout to look for sea otters saw the body in the surf, King said.

The man flagged down a Neah Bay police officer who was driving by, and the officer reported it to the State Patrol, King said.

King said the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the discovery of the body in conjunction with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

Okumoto’s family has been notified that a body was found in the vicinity of his car, Kitsap sheriff’s spokesman Ken Dickinson said Thursday.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.