LAKE STEVENS — The sisters trudged through heavy woods and rain searching for their brother.
They knew he was out there somewhere.
Jason White abandoned his home in Lake Stevens on Jan. 3. He left the front door ajar and his beloved dog behind. The 32-year-old’s body was discovered Saturday less than a mile away.
His sister, Jessica Robbins, is hoping for answers. The reason behind his disappearance remains a mystery.
White was living with his mother in a condo on Market Place. She returned one evening to find her son gone.
“We knew something was wrong,” Robbins said.
White’s chihuahua was in his bedroom. He took his dog everywhere, even to his father’s memorial service. The only exception was when he went to work as an airplane mechanic.
His family coordinated three searches during the weeks he was missing.
About 100 people offered their assistance Saturday. The Hand Up Project, a nonprofit that advocates for those battling homelessness or addiction, provided supplies and volunteers.
“We cannot express our gratitude enough,” said Naomi Butler, White’s sister. “It meant a lot to our family.”
They followed clues: a location where police pinged White’s cellphone, a wallet and clothing. His body was found by his sister’s friends.
Police do not believe a crime was involved. The Snohomish County medical examiner conducted an autopsy Tuesday. There was no immediate word on the cause of death.
Robbins takes comfort in the idea of her brother and father together again.
She imagines them shooting guns like they used to. White learned from his father. As a teenager, he won first place in target shooting at a state championship.
He was a straight shooter, in more ways than one.
“Jason was not afraid to tell you his truth, whether you like it or not,” Butler said.
The sisters remember him as someone who always volunteered his help. He made people smile by telling jokes. He didn’t hesitate in his decision to jump out of an airplane.
“He was such a daredevil,” Robbins said.
White wanted to see the world. He had lived in Texas and Oklahoma, but moved home to be closer to family.
Robbins and White never grew out of their sibling rivalry. She pulled pranks on her brother. She once put a fake cockroach in his salad. It wasn’t until he mixed in the dressing that he spotted the critter.
The sisters share one memory of White. Before he said goodbye, he always told them “I love you.”
White was happiest outdoors.
He was a hunter and a fisherman. Robbins found it telling that he died in the woods, a place that he loved.
He once took Robbins to a place off I-90, just before Snoqualmie Pass. She calls it an enchanted forest. There is a 180-degree view of waterfalls and streams.
White had a knack of finding places like this. He was the type of driver who would pull over for anything that piqued his curiosity.
The sisters plan to spread his ashes among the trees.
Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org.