Death of man found by burned-out truck likely accidental

MONROE — Investigators believe a Monroe-area man was working on his 1994 Ford F250 pickup truck Jan. 25 when the truck’s transmission failed, sparking a fire.

The body of James “Pat” Hill, 68, was found the next day, badly burned, at his property along Woods Creek Road.

The case initially was investigated as a suspicious death by the Snohomish County sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit and the county Fire Marshal’s Office.

The fire since has been ruled an accident, according to the Fire Marshal’s Office.

Detectives have ruled out foul play, sheriff’s spokeswoman Shari Ireton said Wednesday.

Hill’s death remains under investigation but no longer is considered suspicious, she said.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office still is working to scientifically pinpoint Hill’s cause and manner of death — a process that can take weeks.

His body was found Jan. 26 near the remains of the burned-out truck at a home he owned between Monroe and Lake Roesiger.

Relatives had gone to the home to check on him after he missed plans with his grandson, court papers show.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

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