Autopsy reveals knife in body found in Mukilteo backyard

Police are now investigating the death as “suspicious,” though the official cause and manner are pending.

MUKILTEO — The owner of a Mukilteo home called police on the night of Oct. 19, to report what he believed to be a dead animal on the property.

Authorities arrived to find decomposed human remains.

A five-inch knife blade was found in the man’s body during an autopsy, according to a search warrant obtained by The Daily Herald. And a rip in his shirt looked like it could be from a stab wound.

Mukilteo police are now investigating the death as “suspicious,” Sgt. Andy Illyn said. Police currently have “a lot more questions than we do answers,” he added.

The deceased man, 27, was identified as Sarath Vasanthavada. He had been reported missing by his roommate about two weeks earlier, on Oct. 4. Police believe he died in late September.

At first, Mukilteo police believed foul play wasn’t a factor. But the investigation revealed “unusual” evidence, Illyn said. In the backyard near the body, police found a knife handle, according to the warrant filed in Snohomish County Superior Court. There was also blood on a wall just inside the back door of the baby blue two-story Mukilteo home in the 4600 block of 88th Street SW.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office hasn’t determined the cause and manner of death. Vasanthavada’s remains have been sent to an expert to look for evidence of a violent crime, Illyn said. The sergeant said he wasn’t expecting the medical examiner to release official findings until early next year.

After living in India for five years, Vasanthavada arrived in the state Sept. 3.

On Sept. 26, he went to law enforcement and said he used drugs and had mental health issues, according to police. But he turned down offers of help.

The next day, Vasanthavada went to Costco with his roommate. There, he fell and appeared to go into a seizure, the roommate told police. They went to a hospital. The roommate left for a while. When he came back, Vasanthavada had been released, according to the warrant.

At about 3 a.m. Sept. 28, he knocked on his roommate’s door, saying he didn’t feel well and wanted to go back to the hospital. They went there and left later that day, the roommate reported.

Afterward, they went to buy a coat. Vasanthavada didn’t have any clothes for cold weather. He told his roommate he was going to meet someone for drugs. But he was only allowed to stay at the Mukilteo house on the condition he didn’t use illegal drugs, so he made plans to stay somewhere else.

The autopsy found evidence of methamphetamine and THC in Vasanthavada’s system. The roommate said he wasn’t aware of him having recent suicidal thoughts.

Later, Vasanthavada said goodbye with a knock on his roommate’s bedroom door and a salute. The roommate told police that was the last time he saw Vasanthavada alive.

Police found he had left behind his phone, wallet and medication.

Tips can be directed to Mukilteo police at 425-263-8100 or call 911.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

Need help?

The Snohomish Health District suggests these resources:

• 24 Hour Care Crisis Line (VOA) 800-584-3578

• Care Crisis Chat 24/7 at imhurting.org

• Catholic Community Services (mental health) 425-257-2111

• Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741

• Crisis Connections: 866-427-4747

• National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255

• The Trevor Project: 866-488-7386 or thetrevorproject.org

• WA Listens (for stress related to COVID-19): 833-681-0211

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