Body of man reported to be suicidal found at North Beach

Identity not yet released

PORT TOWNSEND — The body of a man reported to be suicidal was found early Friday morning by people who were out at North Beach looking for him, a Jefferson County deputy prosecuting attorney said Saturday.

Chris Ashcraft, who also is acting coroner, said officers told him in a call at about 8 a.m. Friday that “somebody who was looking for him found him and then called [Port Townsend] police,” he said Saturday.

The people had seen a body on a bluff, Ashcraft said.

The man — who was in his 30s or 40s — will not be identified until it is clear that all of his next of kin have been notified.

“He has family all over the Northwest,” said Ashcraft, who did not know where the man lived.

Ashcraft will not announce the cause of death until he has examined the body and determined it finally. But he said: “We have no reason to suspect foul play.”

He expects to determine cause of death early this week.

Jefferson County Sheriff Joe Nole said Friday that the man’s mother reported to county authorities at 5:20 p.m. Thursday that she had received a “goodbye” text message indicating her son was suicidal.

Because of the terrain in the area, it took police and personnel from East Jefferson Fire-Rescue about an hour to reach the location, Keppie Keplinger, Port Townsend Police Department spokesperson, said in a press release.

Nole said that law enforcement unsuccessfully pinged the man’s phone in hopes of locating him before a Port Townsend officer found his vehicle parked at North Beach at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

When officers arrived they saw the man and called for him, but he ran into a wooded area and they were unable to locate him.

Law enforcement searched until dark but could not find him then.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at [email protected].

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