EDMONDS — He didn’t have a driver’s license, a bus pass, or a pill bottle with a name on it when passersby found him in Yost Park.
The man in the Boeing jacket likely had been dead two to four weeks before he was discovered at 2 p.m. Nov. 10, off a trail in the wooded Edmonds park, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office. His death was ruled a suicide.
A month later, Edmonds police are still searching for his name. They’re asking for tips from the public. The man looked Caucasian, maybe 40 to 65 years old, with a good head of short silver hair, no balding. He weighed about 145 pounds and stood 5-foot-9. He appeared to be homeless.
By releasing details about his belongings, investigators hope to jog memories of people who knew him. He left few clues: three backpacks, a pair of Itasca hiking boots in size 9½, and an old Scott Boulder mountain bike, with a gray cargo box fastened with bungee cords above the rear wheel. He wore layered clothes in different sizes.
On the outside was a black jacket, size medium, with a red circular stamp-like logo on the front left breast pocket. The stamp reads: “100 percent committed” and “FOD free,” an aviation acronym for foreign object debris. On the back, below the neckline, is a tiny white Boeing emblem.
Beneath it he wore a Northwest-brand vest in size XXL. Under that, he had a black Gildan hoodie with the words “Washington” in the purple-and-gold colors of the university in Seattle. The size was large. The bottom layer was a light blue American Apparel T-shirt for the job search site Indeed, size small. The shirt says, “one search. all jobs.” and “I help people get jobs.”
He wore navy blue sweatpants with an orange drawstring, size 32 to 34. He had a tarp, but no tent, detective Andy Mehl said. The man was wearing ear bud headphones when he was found. He’d been listening to an aging Optimus portable stereo that needed to be taped or held shut.
The contents of his backpack were peanut butter, honey, a bag of cereal, seasoning salt and an empty bottle of gin. He had a few pairs of reading glasses, some black winter gloves and brown work gloves with a rubber grip on the palm. He also had a black-and-gray scarf.
There was no obvious sign the clothes or backpacks had been rifled through. It is unusual, however, to find someone without a single piece of paperwork or a receipt, said Jane Jorgensen, an investigator at the medical examiner’s office.
And while the University of Washington and Boeing clothing hint at local ties, they could’ve been found on any thrift store rack. One red-and-black backpack was made by The North Face. The other two didn’t have brands. One was blue. One was black. The packs held essentials, like toothbrushes.
A forensic dentist reviewed records from 35 missing people from around the country, who appeared to be the nearest matches in a dental database. Just about all of them had been ruled out as of last week. In the coming weeks, the medical examiner’s office plans to ship his DNA, to be compared in national genetic databases — if he’s not identified first.
Mehl has crossed off names of a few missing locals from a list of possibilities. It’s possible that no one reported the man as missing.
Tips can be directed to 425-771-0285.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; email@example.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.