By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter
CHEHALIS – The Lewis County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the skeletal remains of a woman found near Morton last year were dumped there.
The remains were found on April 7, 2011 by a motorist who pulled off U.S. Highway 12 to take a break, about 100 yards up a logging road.
Who she is and how she died remains a mystery.
But the sheriff’s office says they believe foul play was involved.
Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Civil Deputy Stacy Brown said yesterday detectives are taking a further look at the case in light of the confessions early this month of self-professed serial killer Israel Keyes who claims he killed four people in Washington state.
“We’re definitely taking a look at all our cases to see if his M.O. matches any of ours,” Brown said.
The checking is not based in any specific request from the FBI, she said.
The sheriff’s office has been tight-lipped about details of the Morton case, in hopes that withholding information from the public will better help them solve it.
A forensic anthropologist at the King County Medical Examiner’s Office believes the remains belong to a woman who was 20 to 35 years old when she died, small in stature and possibly of mixed ethnicity.
A sketch made by studying the facial bones offers a clue to what she may have looked like. The artist’s rendering was released to the news media in October of last year, but it generated no leads on her identity, according to Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod.
Dental records and DNA from the deceased have been entered into databases with no matches found.
Examination by the specialist failed to come up with the cause of death.
“Having only bones to examine, she’s exhausted, at this point, all means to figure out the cause and manner of death,” McLeod said yesterday.
McLeod, whose office has the responsibility – among others – of figuring out who she is, is hoping re-releasing the sketch will turn up someone who recognizes her.
“Not knowing who it is puts us at a real disadvantage,” he said.
Another aspect of the case still under wraps is how long the forensic anthropologist estimates the woman had been dead before her remains were found.
“We’re not releasing that yet because that’s something only the killer, or the person who dumped her, would know,” Chief Civil Deputy Brown said.
Anyone with any information about this female or the case is asked to call the coroner’s office at 360-740-1376, Lewis County sheriff’s detective Dan Riordan at 360-740-2765 or Lewis County Crime Stoppers – if the person wishes to remain anonymous - at 1-800-748-6422.