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Body of a Whatcom County woman missing since 2016 found near Verlot

The remains of Whatcom County woman Vera Izhevskiy, who has been missing more than two years was recovered last week and positively identified Friday, and her death is being investigated as suspicious.
The remains of Whatcom County woman Vera Izhevskiy, who has been missing more than two years was recovered last week and positively identified Friday, and her death is being investigated as suspicious. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

The remains of a Whatcom County woman missing more than two years were recovered last week and positively identified Friday. Her death is being investigated as suspicious.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner, in a tweet, identified the remains found Jan. 30 near Verlot as 25-year-old Vera V. Izhevskiy of Maple Falls. The tweet also said the cause and manner of death are still being investigated.

“It’s been a really tough thing for her family to deal with and her friends not knowing what happened to her,” said Yvonne Welch, a friend of Izhevskiy’s and her family for more than four years. “Hopefully finding her will bring some closure to her family and friends. It’s been a rough road.”

Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Communications Specialist Courtney O’Keefe told The Bellingham Herald that Izhevskiy’s remains were located by two U.S. Forest Service employees in a wooded area off Mountain Loop Highway near Verlot. Members of the sheriff’s major crimes and search and rescue divisions responded and recovered the remains.

“It is still an ongoing investigation, and the death is being investigated with suspicious circumstances,” O’Keefe told The Herald Friday.

Izhevskiy was last seen the evening of Nov. 10, 2016, near the McDonald’s on Samish Way, according to a Bellingham Police Department Facebook post 12 days later asking for the public’s help in finding her. A follow-up post the next day said a $1,000 reward was being offered for information on her whereabouts.

Welch said Izhevskiy was a graduate of Mount Baker High School and had attended Whatcom Community College, and her dream was to be a nurse and deliver babies.

“She was an extremely sweet girl,” Welch told The Herald. “She never did anything to anybody. It’s a tough thing. She had the whole world ahead of her.”

While the news that Izhevskiy has been found answered some questions, Welch said it obviously created some new ones.

“There are a lot of things that still need to be answered,” Welch said. “The detectives have it under control, and I have all the faith in the world that they’ll figure it out. The family is going through a real hard time right now, so we’re asking to please respect that.”

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
Robert Mittendorf covers civic issues, weather, traffic and how people are coping with the high cost of housing for The Bellingham Herald. A journalist since 1984, he’s also a volunteer firefighter for South Whatcom Fire Authority.
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