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Search ends for missing Bellingham woman last seen in rural Grays Harbor County

The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office announced that it had found the body of Joann W. Nelson, 78 of Bellingham, who went missing last week. Her body was found in a rural part of the county north of Aberdeen.
The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office announced that it had found the body of Joann W. Nelson, 78 of Bellingham, who went missing last week. Her body was found in a rural part of the county north of Aberdeen. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

The body of a Bellingham woman who went missing last week has been located near where she was last seen in rural Grays Harbor County, according to a Facebook post by the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office.

“At this point, the death does not appear suspicious,” Chief Brad Johansson said in the post, adding that the investigation will continue.

As previously reported in The Bellingham Herald, Joann W. Nelson, 78, was reported missing by the Bellingham Police Department last Wednesday and was last seen at approximately 3:30 p.m. walking on Polson Camp Road, north of Aberdeen, according to the Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office.

The vehicle driven by Nelson, who was reportedly bipolar and not taking her medication, was found abandoned on US Highway 101 at milepost 95.5 on Wednesday, and her phone was tracked to the area near Polson Camp Road.

A search and rescue mission was started to find Nelson using ground and vehicle searchers, as well as bloodhounds. A military helicopter scheduled for a training mission also flew over the area with a heat-seeking camera, the sheriff’s office said last week.

At 9:10 p.m. Friday, the sheriff’s office reported that Nelson’s body had been found approximately one mile from the end of Polson Camp Road in a heavily wooded area.

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