Police don't suspect foul play in death of man pulled from Whatcom Creek

Posted by SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL on April 27, 2014 

BELLINGHAM — Police did not suspect foul play in the death of a man whose body was pulled from a section of Whatcom Creek that runs behind a Bellingham grocery store on Sunday, April 27.

An employee at the Grocery Outlet at York and Ellis streets discovered the body around 11:53 a.m. Sunday and called police, Bellingham Police Sgt. Carr Lanham said.

The stream was moving quickly, and the body appeared to be caught in an eddy between logs in the middle of the creek, Lanham said.

"It was not easy to recover," he said.

Bellingham Fire Department responded and over the course of more than two hours workers were able to extend a ladder truck over the creek, lower a rope, and safely bring the body to shore, Lanham said.

"The firefighters did some great problem solving to make sure the body was recovered in a safe manner," Lanham said. "Those logs were teetering and could have come loose if somebody was in the water."

The man's identity remained unknown Sunday evening, but he appeared to be approximately 30 to 40 years old, Lanham said.

Officers searched both banks of the creek but there were "no signs of any fight or struggle on the shoreline at this time," Lanham said Sunday evening.

Whatcom County Medical Examiner Gary Goldfogel will perform an autopsy Monday, April 28, to determine cause of death and the man's identity.

Reach Samantha Wohlfeil at Samantha.Wohlfeil@bellinghamherald.com.

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