Person Found Dead in Truck Identified as Vader Resident

By The Chronicle

A man found dead in what was first thought to be an abandoned vehicle Jan. 7 has been identified as Rickie J. Hornbeck, 64, of Vader, according to the Lewis County Coroner’s Office.

The cause and manner of his death are pending toxicology, which take about 90 days to come back from the lab, according to the coroner’s office.

Lewis County Sheriff’s Office Rob Snaza and Undersheriff Wes Rethwill told the Board of Lewis County Commissioners earlier this month that investigators suspect carbon monoxide from a propane heater could be to blame for the death. They believed the man was possibly attempting to stay warm during the last cold snap.

A deputy first found the truck on Interstate Avenue in Chehalis on Jan. 6 and suspected it had been abandoned.

The following day crews arrived to tow the truck and found Hornbeck’s body in the rear along with a propane heater.