Investigators suspect body found near Clallam Bay that of Victoria man

CLALLAM BAY — Investigators should determine by Monday if dental records from a missing 56-year-old Victoria-area, B.C., kayaker match those of a man whose body was found this week on a Pysht-area shoreline, Clallam County authorities said Thursday.

A Shelton couple hiking a rocky coastline Tuesday morning found the body off state Highway 112 near Deep Creek east of Clallam Bay, authorities said.

The kayaker, a Saanich resident, according to the Times Colonist of Victoria, was reported missing June 19 after setting off a day earlier from East Sooke, B.C.

That’s 27 miles in a straight line from Clallam Bay, according to https://roadsidethoughts.com.

The kayaker’s family identified the man from photos of the body and the clothing he was wearing, including a University of Victoria sweatshirt, Brian Smith, county Sheriff’s Office chief criminal deputy, said Thursday.

“The family is saying that it’s their loved one,” Smith said.

“Their confidence level is high.”

The man’s name was unavailable Thursday.

The family has asked that it not be released, Smith said.

Victoria gear

The man was wearing rubber boots, a life vest and a University of Victoria sweatshirt when his decomposed body was found, Sheriff’s Sgt. Ed Anderson said Wednesday.

He also was wearing shorts and “rain gear like he’d been fishing,” Anderson said.

County Prosecuting Attorney-Coroner Mark Nichols said Thursday the Royal Canadian Mounted Police provided the dental records of the missing man.

The records and the body will be sent to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office, where an autopsy will be performed and the dental records compared.

Toxicology tests will be conducted that will take longer than the autopsy, Nichols said.

“By Monday, I’m hoping to be able to say thumbs up or thumbs down on that we know who we are dealing with and we’ll be able to positively identify the body,” he said.

King said DNA from the body and the man’s family will be compared.

King and Nichols said there were no signs of foul play.

King said three fishermen were reported missing near Tofino, B.C., about June 16.

A man who was fishing on the Fraser River, B.C., was reported missing June 20, two days after a body was seen floating down the river, King said.

Sooke is much closer to where the body was found Tuesday in Clallam County than the other two locations, Smith said.

The kayaker was last seen launching his red, sit-on-top kayak from the Becher Bay marina in East Sooke June 18, reported CTV.

The kayak was found at Hoskyn Point off the Beecher Bay First Nation the afternoon of June 19, according to media reports.

It was similar in color and design to that of the missing man, a spokesman for the Victoria joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre, told the Times-Colonist.

A worker at the Cheanuh Marina, near where the kayaker’s vehicle was found, said several fishermen saw the man fishing from his kayak late morning June 18.

“He was trolling with our fisherman,” the worker told the newspaper.

“The wind picked up, and everybody came in except for him, I guess.”

Family members said he was an experienced kayaker but probably was unfamiliar with the waters of Becher Bay, according to CTV.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected].

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