The Mountlake Terrace Police Department has confirmed the body of a woman found in a culvert Sunday afternoon matches the description of Cheryl DeBoer, a Mountlake Terrace woman who was last heard from one week ago.
The body was found at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday in a culvert at the intersection of 244th Street Southwest and Cedar Way in Mountlake Terrace by a volunteer group organized by DeBoer’s family, friends and coworkers. Mountlake Terrace police spokesman Commander Kevin Pickard says other evidentiary items were also found at the scene, but would not elaborate on what exactly was found as the investigation is ongoing.
Pickard would not elaborate on the state or condition that the body was found.
While police would not officially confirm the identity, Han Nachtrieb, vice president of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center human resources, released a statement Sunday stating that the body had been identified as DeBoer, our online news partner The Seattle Times reports.
“It is with deep regret and sorrow that we’ve recently had confirmation that Cheryl DeBoer, missing since February 8, has been found. Her remains were located this afternoon near the King/Snohomish border,” Nachtrieb wrote. “Cheryl has been in the hearts and minds of her many friends and co-workers, and we are deeply saddened by this tragic news.”
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner will provide a confirmed identity for the body after they finish an autopsy. The Medical Examiner will also determine the cause and manner of death. There is no timeframe for when that will occur.
The Mountlake Terrace Police Department is asking anyone who saw anything suspicious between 7 a.m. on Feb. 8 and 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 to come forward with information. Specifically, they are looking into suspicious activity, people, vehicles or noises near the Mountlake Terrace Library, the Transit Center and around the intersection of 244th Street Southwest and Cedar Way. Any information is helpful to the investigation, he said.
Cedar Way completely reopened to traffic Sunday night. However, there was still an active crime scene at the intersection of 224th Street Southwest and Cedar Way as of early Monday afternoon.
Cheryl DeBoer was last heard from on Monday, Feb. 8 when she texted her work friend that she forgot her work badge and couldn’t meet her at the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center to carpool. Her friend said she would wait for her, but couldn’t reach her.
DeBoer worked as a systems analyst at the Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Prevention at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
Police said there was no activity on her phone since she went missing. The phone was not in her car, which was found Monday near the Transit Center overflow parking, located in the 23400 block of 58th Avenue West.
Though police are calling the circumstances of DeBoer’s disappearance “suspicious,” Pickard tells residents that for now, they should not be afraid to be in Mountlake Terrace.
“It is safe here,” Pickard said.
–Photos and story by Natalie Covate