South Whidbey parks ranger finds body on beach

An employee with State Parks discovered a body on the beach outside of his state-owned housing near Possession Point State Park on South Whidbey Thursday afternoon.

The body was tentatively identified as 35-year-old Brandon Smith of Clinton, according to Island County Coroner Robert Bishop.

Bishop said the autopsy is set for Saturday. He expects to positively identify the body and possibly identify the manner of the man’s death, though any toxicology testing will take more time.

Bishop said there were no obvious signs on the body that would indicate a cause of death.

The Island County Sheriff’s Office is working with Bishop to investigate the death.

“Foul play is not suspected at this time,” Detective Rick Felici said.

Smith was last seen Tuesday morning as he was going to work, Bishop said. The senior park aide reported finding the body at 2:31 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6.

“We’ve got some huge holes to fill in,” Bishop said. “This could turn out to be just about anything.”

Bishop said the body, which was fully clothed, came in with the tide.

Smith’s vehicle was found at the nearby park.

According to Smith’s Facebook page, he was in the class of 1997 at Carlisle County High School in Bardwell, Ky., and the class of 2000 at Paducah Technical College in Paducah, Ky. He listed his professional skills as “carpentry, landscaping and painting.”


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