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Death Investigation - Highway 101 south of Gold Beach
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph link valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
Oregon State Police (OSP), with the assistance of the State Medical Examiner's Office and Monroe Police Department, are completing the investigation into the death of a missing Monroe, Washington man found Tuesday inside a locked utility trailer along the southern Oregon coast. The man, whose body was found after troopers forced their way into the trailer, apparently locked himself inside and asphyxiated himself.
According to OSP Sergeant Scott Punch, on February 24, 2009 at about 3:30 p.m. OSP Trooper Jeff Johnson responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle possibly abandoned along Highway 101 near milepost 337 in the vicinity of Pistol River south of Gold Beach. Upon arrival the trooper found a parked white 2003 Toyota pickup with utility trailer. The trooper ran a check on the pickup's Washington license plate and learned it was associated with a missing 55-year old man from Arlington, Washington. The man was reported missing to Monroe Police Department on January 28th and he was last scene withdrawing money February 2nd from an area ATM machine.
The trooper was unable to find the vehicle's owner along the beach. With Sergeant Punch's help they partially forced open a door locked from inside the utility trailer and saw a body. They then forced open the door and found a deceased male who was later positively identified as the missing Washington man.
Preliminary investigation indicates no sign of foul play and that the man may have taken his own life by locking himself in the trailer, starting a large motorcycle inside and asphyxiated himself.
An autopsy is tentatively scheduled this week by the State Medical Examiner's Office.
Next of kin were notified.