Woman’s body found in ditch

By CATHY LOGG

Herald Writer

MONROE — Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives are investigating a homicide after a woman escorting children to a school bus stop Monday saw a body lying in a brush-covered ditch.

The woman’s body was found shortly after 8 a.m. in the 21400 block of 167th Avenue SE in the Monroe area, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Jorgensen said.

The woman saw what she thought was a body and told a man at the bus stop, who confirmed it was human and called 911, Jorgensen said.

She didn’t think the children being escorted to the bus saw the corpse.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s staff removed the body, which was scheduled to undergo an autopsy today to determine her identity and the cause of death, Jorgensen said.

Investigators released few details Monday, but said they had not identified the woman and don’t know how long her body had been in the ditch.

They also have not identified a suspect, Jorgensen said.

Monroe police are assisting in the investigation.

Monroe investigators have been trying to locate a woman missing since Nov. 14.

Tina M. Wallace, 39, last was seen leaving the Chopping Block Tavern at 116 E. Main St. Police said her disappearance was suspicious and sought the public’s help to locate her.

She left the tavern with another person, but she had been looking for a ride home that night. Police have talked to the person seen leaving with her. Wallace has a vehicle but didn’t have it with her.

Wallace is the second woman in recent years to leave a Monroe tavern and not make it home.

In June 1999, Cynthia Rearden vanished after she left the Hay Loft Saloon on N. Lewis Street.

Her remains and a small amount of clothing were found in a marshy area off Woods Lake Road near Sultan in February.

Her death, which has been classified a homicide, remains unsolved.

Asked if police saw any connection between Rearden’s death and Wallace’s disappearance, Monroe Police Chief Colleen Wilson said, "It’s really too early for us to draw any conclusions.

"We don’t have anything specific at this point that would lead us to that conclusion.

"We’re always looking at our cases in terms of crime analysis. We’re looking for patterns and that type of thing. We’ve begun using a relational database. We’re looking at it real hard," she said.

Sheriff’s investigators ask anyone with information on any of these crimes to call the sheriff’s tip line at 425-388-3845.

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