A memorial now sits along the road in East Hoquiam where a 35-year-old Hoquiam man jumped into the river while fleeing police, and was never seen again. Multiple agencies searched the area last week, and on Thursday the rescue operation became that of recovery.
Hoquiam police report that on 10-07-16, at about 1247 hours, The Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office and Hoquiam Police were advised of a possible siting of the drowning victim reported on September 14, 2014. Officers responded and contacted a fisherman at the East Hoquiam Boat launch on the East Hoquiam Road. The fisherman had spotted the body and called 911. The body was located a short distance south of the boat launch and pulled ashore by a Deputy Sheriff and Hoquiam Officer on the scene.
The Grays Harbor County Coroner responded to the scene and identified the drowning victim. The body was released to the county Coroner. The victim’s family was notified by the Hoquiam Police Department about the recovery.
Hoquiam Police on Monday said that they have suspended their search efforts. Chief Jeff Myers said divers from the Kitsap County Underwater Search and Rescue Team fought tidal currents in the area. “Thursday the divers went into the water they were searching the area quite a bit. It’s a hand-to-hand search, [they] didn’t come up with anything.”
Myers said a diver thought they had located him at one point, “Right before they were about ready to finish up, one of the divers, because of the current one [diver] got pushed in, one got pushed out. The diver that got pushed out ended up more out in the channel, at one point believed he found the subject we were looking for.” Myers said the diver wasn’t able to hold on in the heavy current, and even after focusing the search efforts in that area crews were unable to locate the man’s body again.
The tides and availability of divers hindered their search over the weekend. Myers added a thank you to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office for the use of their patrol boat during search efforts.
The man is not being identified at this time, however, Myers adds “We’ve been trying to keep his family informed so they know what’s going on. It’s a very difficult situation because obviously, we want to bring some closure to the family. But at this point, we searched up and down that whole area they checked and were not able to locate [him] at this point we’re suspending the search until we have any other potential information or leads.”