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Aug. 15, 2022

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Death notice for living man ‘some kind of shenanigans,’ Vancouver detective says

Columbian received two death notices for longtime Clark County resident

By , Columbian Metro Editor, and
, Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:

Family members, social workers, the police and The Columbian are all asking questions after the newspaper printed a death notice Wednesday for a man who is apparently still alive.

The death notice was submitted for Larry Allen McCash, 48, a longtime Clark County man whose last address was listed as Portland. However, he has not appeared in official death records in Washington, and it appears he didn’t die in Oregon, either, although Vancouver police are awaiting confirmation.

The incident has also gotten the attention of child welfare authorities, though confidentiality rules prevented them from explaining their interest in McCash.

This is what we know at this point:

On Monday evening, The Columbian’s user-submitted death notice system received a notice for McCash, saying he had died May 21. The death notice did not include the name of a funeral home, which is required by company policy, but it did include a phone number. It also included the name and phone number of a relative.

The supposed funeral home phone number, which was not checked prior to publication in violation of The Columbian’s policy, was for a phone in Brevard County, Fla., that was disconnected and no longer in service as of Friday.

On Tuesday morning, The Columbian’s system received a second death notice for McCash, this time saying he had died May 6. Again, no funeral home name was offered, and a different phone number purportedly for a funeral home was offered.

That number wasn’t checked prior to publication, either; when an editor checked Friday, it rang to a restaurant in Gresham, Ore.

Both of the death notices submitted to The Columbian claimed they were submitted by McCash’s brother, Jesse McCash, and included Jesse’s actual phone number. But Jesse McCash told The Columbian that he did not submit either of the death notices. Furthermore, on Tuesday he filed a missing-persons report for Larry McCash with the police.

A different relative told police that they had been contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer. The caller said McCash had been in a crash in Vancouver last month and that he’d been taken to a Portland hospital with severe injuries.

Vancouver police Detective David Jensen said Friday that there are no calls for service that match that claim. He declined to speculate on the situation.

“This is some kind of shenanigans,” he said. “We don’t necessarily think the shenanigans is criminal in nature. At this moment, we, the police, have no reason to believe foul play is involved.”

The Columbian is taking steps to ensure its internal safeguards will prevent something like this from happening again.

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