A family tried to lift man out of homelessness, when he died

Joshua Fredericksen, 45, died outside a Fred Meyer on Monday. He’d been unsheltered for 15-plus years.

Joshua Fredericksen, 45, with his sister, Rebecca Ponte. (Family photo)

Joshua Fredericksen, 45, with his sister, Rebecca Ponte. (Family photo)

EVERETT — Authorities are trying to confirm why a man died in public this week outside a Fred Meyer in Marysville.

Just last week, the family of Joshua Fredericksen, 45, found him sleeping outside in Renton. His sister, Rebecca Ponte, said she had not seen her brother for two years. On Thanksgiving, she brought him to Marysville to help get him into counseling for alcohol-related issues that fed into his 15-plus years of life on the streets.

“When you’re trying to help someone to get out of that situation it’s hard, but he sounded willing,” his sister said.

Fredericksen stayed at her home a few days, and she let him borrow a van to sleep in. They talked about the Bible and Jesus.

“He was loved,” she said. “We’re believers, and we believe that God had a plan.”

Ponte went to look for him one morning in the van, but he was gone. Fredericksen was found dead Tuesday near the Fred Meyer on State Avenue. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office released his identity Friday.

Ponte suggested investigators were looking at an undiagnosed heart issue as a possible cause of death.

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