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Police investigating suspicious death after woman's body found in south Bellingham home

Police are investigating the suspicious death of a woman found in the basement apartment of this South Bellingham home Sunday, Aug. 3, according to the Bellingham Police Department.
Police are investigating the suspicious death of a woman found in the basement apartment of this South Bellingham home Sunday, Aug. 3, according to the Bellingham Police Department. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

BELLINGHAM - Police are investigating the suspicious death of a woman found in the basement apartment of a south Bellingham home Sunday, Aug. 3, according to the Bellingham Police Department.

A co-worker found the woman's body at about 11 a.m. in the downstairs apartment of a home in the 600 block of 12th Street, after the woman didn't show up for work.

Police believe the body is that of the 59-year-old woman who rents the basement apartment, but that has to be confirmed by the medical examiner. An autopsy was scheduled to take place Tuesday.

Police released few details about the death Monday, though spokesman Bob Vander Yacht said investigators are "leaning toward homicide" as the cause.

"At this point, we are not ruling out the possibility of an acquaintance being involved," he said. "While we continue to investigate this matter we ask that the community remain vigilant and continue to report unusual activities."

The death appears to have occurred Saturday or Sunday, Vander Yacht said. The woman lived alone in the apartment.

The woman who owns the home was distraught on Monday and described the renter as a friend. She declined to comment about the death.

Detectives have been canvassing the neighborhood and are working to piece together the days and hours leading up to the woman's death. Anyone with information about the death can call Detective Pauline Renick at 360-778-8754 or the police anonymous tip line at 360-778-8611.

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