Missing Bellingham Man Found Dead on Sauk Mountain

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Marblemount, WA – The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with local Skagit County Mountain Search and Rescue   teams located the body of a missing Bellingham man on Friday October 27th, 2017 near the summit of Sauk Mountain.

The man was reported missing in Whatcom County earlier in the month  and his cell phone had last been used on October 18th.

A group of hikers visiting Sauk Mountain on October 23rd,  including hiker Stacy Frazer,  noticed a lone vehicle in the parking lot of the Sauk Mountain Trail head when they arrived to hike the mountain.

Photo: Stacy Frazer/Washington Hikers and Climbers

Upon returning from their hike they noticed the vehicle was still in the parking lot and they had not seen any other hikers on the trail during their hike. They also did not see any foot prints in the snow and never heard another person, so a fellow Hiker in the group called the Ranger Station to alert them of the vehicle.

Photo: Stacy Frazer/Washington Hikers and Climbers

The Ranger Station later notified the group that the vehicle belonged to a Missing Person out of Whatcom County.

The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the vehicle around 3:30 p.m. on October 24th and launched a  search of the area around 5:30 p.m.   The search was called off around 9:30 p.m. for safety reasons and resumed the following morning around 7:30 a.m. The search of the mountain was discontinued later in the day due to extreme weather conditions in the area and low visibility.  Searchers then focused their search efforts on adjacent areas where the victim could have hiked.

The search resumed Thursday morning and into Friday before the remains of the missing man were located.

Rescue teams were able to locate the man’s remains and his remains  were airlifted to the Concrete Airport, where they were turned over to the Skagit County Coroner’s Office. The Coroner’s Office will determine the official  cause and manner of death.

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The man has not been identified, but Law Enforcement Officials have notified the mans family.

In July of 2017, 69-year old Karen Vaden of Birch Bay,  died after slipping and falling from the switchbacks on the Sauk Mountain Trail.

On October 2nd of 2010, 65-year old Patti Krieger of Mount Vernon, WA went missing on Sauk Mountain while hiking with her then boyfriend, Larry Pressley and his friends and family.  Her remains have never been found.

The popular Sauk Mountain Trail in East Skagit County  is 2.8 miles long and includes steep, narrow switchbacks. Read more about the Sauk Mountain Trail by clicking here. 

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