King County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the discovery of human remains near a Black Diamond housing development still under construction.
On Tuesday evening, a man was hiking along a trail through a wooded area near the 33000 block of Southeast Stevens Street when something off the trail caught his eye, said sheriff’s Sgt. Ryan Abbott. The man flagged down a Black Diamond police officer who happened to be in the area on patrol, according to Black Diamond Police Cmdr. Larry Colagiovanni.
Officers guarded the remains overnight.
The Black Diamond Police Department, which belongs to the 12-member Coalition of Small Police Agencies, was activating the coalition’s Major Crimes Unit and had requested a Washington State Patrol crime-scene investigation team to come to the scene, Colagiovanni said. It was then that the King County Sheriff’s Office learned remains had been discovered and detectives in the sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit asked if they could take over the investigation since it is possibly related to a case sheriff’s detectives are already working on, Abbott and Colagiovanni said. Black Diamond’s police chief agreed.
Kathy Taylor, the King County Medical Examiner’s forensic anthropologist, also responded and confirmed the remains are human, Abbott said.
Photos Abbott posted on Twitter show a sidewalk running alongside plots ready for new houses to be built, with trees in the background. He said the remains were found in the treeline off a trail.
Detectives worked the scene all day Wednesday and returned to the site on Thursday, Abbott said. Investigators have determined the remains are male and asked anyone with missing male family members in the Black Diamond area to contact the sheriff’s office at 206-296-3311.
Editor’s note: Due to incorrect information provided by the King County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday, this story has been updated. The hiker who found the remains did not call 911 but flagged down a Black Diamond police officer. The Black Diamond Police Department did not request that sheriff’s detectives take over the investigation. Instead, sheriff’s detectives asked to take the investigation because it is possibly connected to one of their cases, and Black Diamond’s police chief agreed.