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Divers find submerged car with body inside

Search was originally for stolen property

On the morning of May 12, a dive team from the Skamania County Sheriff's Office was conducting a search for stolen property in the area of the Bingen Marina. Divers came across a vehicle submerged in roughly 17 feet of water within the marina, just south and west of the boat launching ramp.

The vehicle was subsequently pulled out of the water, and a man's body was discovered in the passenger area.

Law enforcement personnel from the Klickitat County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) responded to the scene and continued the investigation.

"We still don't know the man's identity," said Klickitat County Undersheriff Erik Anderson on Tuesday morning. "That's our top priority."

According to KCSO officials, the vehicle and body had been submerged for several months.

"It was in there anywhere up to a year," Anderson said.

An autopsy on the body was performed on Monday; no results as to the cause of death had been made public as of Tuesday morning, and no details about the vehicle had yet been released.

KCSO detectives are continuing the investigation.

In another case, KCSO officials said they had no evidence to suggest that the death of Sean Brown, 21, of Klickitat was a homicide.

Brown's body was discovered in the Klickitat River on April 21. Brown had been in a fight earlier on the day he disappeared, but no evidence of a crime has been found.

"We conducted dozens of interviews," explained Erik Anderson. "There was an altercation that day, but afterwards he was seen walking away. There is nothing to indicate he died of homicidal violence. It appears he did drown, and there is no conclusive evidence to show it was a homicidal event, although we can't preclude that possibility. It appears accidental, and there was some drinking involved, but we don't know. This is a tough one for the coroner, but we don't have enough to declare this a continuing homicide case."


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