Fingerprints from torso washed onto beach sent to state

Identification possible next week

DUNGENESS — Authorities are working to identify the person whose torso was found washed up on shore in the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge on Sept. 16.

Deputy Coroner Supervisor Nathan Millett said Friday that fingerprints from the female torso are now with state authorities and will be run through the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS).

He expects results next week.

The torso includes an intact hand, from which fingerprints could be obtained, said Sgt. John Keegan of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office soon after it was discovered on the seaward side of the Dungeness Spit by two people walking on the beach.

Officials suspect the body may be from a seaplane that crashed into the Strait of Juan de Fuca off Whidbey Island as it was en route to Island County on Sept. 4. Ten people were killed.

But there is no clear indication the remains belong to one of those who died in the plane crash, Detective Sgt. Eric Munger has said.

No foul play is suspected.

Thursday the effort to identify the dead woman was put on hold because of an officer-involved shooting in Sequim that morning.

“The autopsy is done. We are trying to identify the fingerprints,” Millett said Thursday.

”Then we can get an identification and then a cause and manner of death.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) was expected to work with the Navy to recover the wreckage of the DHC-3 Turbine Otter. The cause of the crash is likely to remain unknown for two years, federal agencies said.

Deputies had arrived at the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge at about noon Sep[t. 16, activated the Emergency Operations Center and contacted NTSB and FAA to see if the remains were possibly those of a victim of the crash, Keegan said.


Reporter Brian Gawley can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at

Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at

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