missing woman

Lewis County Coroner Renews Search for Information on Bones Found Near Morton

By Natalie Johnson / njohnson@chronline.com

Lewis County Coroner Warren McLeod is renewing a search for information on the identity of a woman whose bones were found in 2011 scattered off a logging road near Morton.

“She’s been haunting me,” McLeod said. “I want to get this girl ID’d.”

The bones were first discovered on April 7, 2011, in the Peterman Hill area off a logging road near U.S. Highway 12 outside Morton. They were found by a driver who had briefly stopped in the area, McLeod said.

Detectives found a skull and bones scattered across the area. Some bones were found in a container, but McLeod said he could not give further information about that for fear of hampering the still-open criminal investigation.

No remains of organs were found on the site, he said.

It is still unknown how long the bones had been at the site or how long the victim was deceased before the bones were dumped there, McLeod said.

In October 2011, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office released an artist’s rendering of what the woman likely looked like.

McLeod said she could have been as young as 18, but was likely between 20 and 30 and of mixed race.

“What I do is every probably once a year I send her picture out to the media to see if it jars anyone’s memory,” he said.

Calls to the Sheriff’s Office and Coroner’s Office have most commonly suggested the bones might belong to three women missing in Western Washington — Alyssa McLemore, of Kent, Ruthie Kindness, of Parkside, and Kelsey Collins, of Everett, McLeod said.

A forensic odontologist, or forensic dentist, has checked and rechecked the teeth from the Morton skull and has confirmed twice that they do not match any of those three women, he said.

Despite the bones’ information being posted in every national database for missing people, McLeod said his office has received no hits.

“This is a girl that’s missing that no one cares to report missing,” he said. “I don’t get it.”

On Tuesday, McLeod brought up the issue during a briefing with the Board of Lewis County Commissioners.

“She had a mother, she had a father,” Commissioner Edna Fund said.

McLeod reported the case was recently featured on Washington’s Most Wanted.

To report information on the case, contact the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 360-748-9286 or the Lewis County Coroner’s Office at 360-740-1376.