The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after partial human remains washed ashore on the banks of the Columbia River in the Woodland area Saturday.
The remains, found around dusk on Saturday, were in advanced stages of decomposition and appear to have been in the water for months and possibly for years, Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig said. He added that he did not know if the remains belonged to a man or a woman.
There were no obvious signs of foul play, but it is too early to know for certain the cause of death, Rosenzweig said.
The remains have been turned over to the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office, which will work to determine the identity of the deceased person and the cause and manner of their death.
The agency has been in touch with a forensic anthropologist in King County who will be assisting in the case.
The victim was wearing Levi blue jeans and Nike shoes. The coroner’s office is also working with Nike to determine the time the shoe was manufactured and whether it was designed as a men’s or women’s shoe.
Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Brad Thurman at 360-577-3092.