Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Dec. 6, 2022

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More details emerge about skeleton found in Ferndale riverbank


Human remains found Monday along the Nooksack River in Ferndale could be the skeleton of a man who went missing about 20 years ago.

Riley Sweeney, spokesman for the city of Ferndale, said the man’s identity had not been confirmed Wednesday, Nov. 23.

“However, based on evidence gathered at the scene it appears that the remains may be related to a missing person case from the early 2000s,” Sweeney told The Bellingham Herald in an email.

Employees of the Ferndale Department of Public Works found the partially exposed skeleton in the sand along the Nooksack River on Monday, Nov. 22, as they examined the levee south of Pioneer Bridge, which carries Main Street into downtown, according to previous Herald reporting.

Its location was near the Ferndale Senior Center and Pioneer Park, Sweeney said.

“Upon initial review, it appeared that the remains had been in that location for a significant amount of time,” he told The Herald.

“With the assistance of the Bellingham Police Crime Scene Investigation Unit and Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s Office, the remains were removed from the river bank and released to the medical examiner for further analysis,” he said.

Deborah Hollis, chief Investigator and operations manager for the Whatcom County Medical Examiner’s Office, told The Herald earlier that these are the third set of human skeletal remains to be found in Whatcom County this year.

Two others were turned over to the state archaeologist, she said.