The Chehalis Police Department says this picture of Sara Candice was taken in about 2007; authorities are looking for her relatives.
By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – The coroner is appealing to the public for help to find family of the woman whose skeletal remains were discovered on a wooded Chehalis hillside a month ago.
All attempts to locate next of kin by his office and the Chehalis Police Department have been unsuccessful, Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod said today.
McLeod released her name, Sara Candice, her age, 56, and where she lived, which he described as the Twin Cities area.
How and exactly when she died remains unknown.
The human remains were found by a surveyor about a quarter mile east of the 2200 block of Northeast Kresky Avenue on Feb. 23. The spot was remote, a rugged hike from property where some earthmoving is underway east of Yard Birds Mall.
Police estimated she had been there about a year, based on personal papers found in a handbag-type bag near her. There were no signs of a homeless encampment and no obvious signs of foul play at the scene, according to police.
Her identity was confirmed through dental records the coroner secured using a name found in the papers. She was not reported missing, as far as police know.
McLeod said today he couldn’t give out any information about the woman, such as what they have learned about where she lived or where she worked, citing confidentiality.
“We don’t know anything about any employment,” he said, however.
He has been told she might have a brother in Alaska or Canada, and he believed she traveled a lot, he said.
“One of the contacts we were able to find said she used to go all over the country, and send her post cards,” McLeod said.
The decedent was a roommate of the contact’s niece, he said.
McLeod said he didn’t know her middle name, but that police might, since they have her identification. Chehalis police say they don’t have a middle initial or name.
Chehalis detective Sgt. Gary Wilson said they found former addresses for Candice in both Chehalis and Centralia. Her most recent residence was an apartment on the 400 block of North Tower Avenue in Centralia where she lived alone, Wilson said.
“She didn’t have a lot of associates and didn’t have any real connections,” Wilson said.
They located some people Candice had business dealings with and they gave indications she pretty much kept to herself, he said.
Wilson said police could not find that she had a driver’s license in any state. The only local law enforcement contact with her was in 2012, he said.
“So, she was just one of those people who was not in trouble with the law,” he said.
The receipts found with her go back to March of last year, he said.
When detectives went to the apartment where Candice last lived, nobody was living there, WIlson said.
“The people who controlled the apartment hadn’t heard from her, rent was not being paid, so it was being cleaned up,” he said.
Chehalis police secured a photo taken of Candice from a law enforcement agency in Arizona, which Wilson said he thought was taken in about 2007.
Wilson said he doesn’t feel like police are any closer than they were a couple of weeks ago to finding out how or why she died.
The goal for both police and the coroner right now is to locate her relatives.
The condition of her body was such that no autopsy could be done, but her remains have been sent to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office where a forensic anthropologist may or may not be able to determine a cause of death, according to the coroner.
McLeod asks anyone with information regarding the decedent and possible next of kin to please call the coroner’s office at 360-740-1376.
For background, read “News brief: Dental match confirms identity of Kresky Avenue remains” from Thursday March 5, 2015, here