Port Angeles: Dead fisherman may have killed himself

PORT ANGELES — Police believe a Tacoma fisherman who disappeared in the Elwha River and washed up on a remote Canadian island last week may have committed suicide.

Michael William Udall, 33, apparently suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head before his body floated into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Lower Elwha Tribal Police Chief Mike Lasnier said Thursday.

“Every indication is that the subject was shot with his own gun,” Lasnier said.

Udall disappeared while fishing on the Elwha River the weekend of Sept. 13 to Sept. 15.

His body washed ashore Oct. 5 on uninhabited Diana Island west of Vancouver Island near Bamfield, British Columbia, about 76 miles from the mouth of the Elwha River.

Udall’s identification was found on the body, tucked inside hip waders.

Lower Elwha police initially believed Udall drowned in the river, but investigated suicide and the possibility that Udall staged his own disappearance, Lasnier said.

Canadian authorities found a bullet from a .45 caliber gun in Udall’s head during an X-ray of the body and notified tribal police last week.

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