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Unknown body found at Falls
SNOQUALMIE - An unidentified body was discovered Monday morning lying near the base of Snoqualmie Falls, forcing the closure of the nearby city park for several hours as local police and firefighters worked to retrieve it.
On Tuesday afternoon, as the Valley Record went to press, Snoqualmie Director of Public Safety Don Isley said the incident was still under investigation, and police were waiting to receive positive identification of the body from the King County Medical Examiner's Office.
"We're not going to release [the person's identification] until we're real positive," he said.
The death is being investigated as a homicide, although suicide has not been ruled out, and the Medical Examiner's Office was set to perform an autopsy on Tuesday. Isley said the person apparently "left the area from the observation area."
The Medical Examiner's Office will compare the person's dental records to help provide an exact identification, but Isley added that police have notified who they think are the person's next of kin.
The body was discovered about 8:30 Monday morning by a person staying at the Salish Lodge and Spa who was taking pictures at the Falls. Police were notified at 8:42 a.m. and arrived at the Falls with the city of Snoqualmie's Fire Division a few minutes later. They closed Snoqualmie Falls Park and began trying to make their way to the right bank of the Snoqualmie River below the Falls, where the body was lying. King County Fire Protection District No. 27 out of Fall City assisted Snoqualmie crews, as did Seattle Mountain Rescue.
Rescuers' efforts were hampered by the steep grade of the slope on which the body was lying and the cold weather, which had made rocks along the river slick, Isley said.
By Monday afternoon, rescuers were able to reach the body and remove it from the area