Coroner still trying to identify body found in Columbia River last July

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The Chelan County Coroner’s office is asking for assistance identifying a man whose body was found in the Columbia River last Fourth of July.

Coroner Wayne Harris said based on the condition of the body it was difficult to identify the man or determine how long he had been in the water.

An autopsy determined the man had died of drowning and there were no injuries to the body, Harris said.

“Based on the condition of the body, fingerprints were unable to be obtained,” Harris said. “It appeared that he had his teeth pulled and thus possibly wore dentures, so dental identification was not an option.” 

Harris said it’s “highly likely” the man was homeless and possibly living along the river.

Working with a forensic anthropologist, Harris was able to establish that it was a white man about 5-foot-9-inches tall, “with an age range between 51 and 83 years, with a potential of being around 64 years old, and an undetermined weight.”

The man’s cranium was sent to a forensic artist who used reconstruction methods to help create drawings of what the man may have looked like, one drawing with teeth and one without.

In the meantime, a DNA sample has been sent to a private lab that may help in the identification. The results of that test are expected in a couple months, Harris said.