Missing Klahanie girl found dead after search
March 8, 2011
By Laura Geggel
A King County Sheriff’s Office detective found the body of a missing 12-year-old Klahanie girl on March 6. Investigators said the death was noncriminal in nature.
The girl, a seventh-grade student at Pacific Cascade Middle School, went missing March 2. A concerned friend of the girl called the sheriff’s office shortly before 6 p.m. that day, reporting that the girl had sent suicidal text messages and mentioned suicide on Facebook, according to a sheriff’s office news release.
The sheriff’s office had received reports about the girl within the past two months. The family had called the sheriff’s office Jan. 17, saying the teen was missing and that she was a chronic runaway. She returned home the next day, Jan. 18.
After receiving the concerned call March 2, the sheriff’s office checked the area, including Pine Lake Park, but could not find the girl. When the sheriff’s office contacted the girl’s parents, “they did not believe the girl was actually suicidal, although she was not at home,” the release said.
Her parents reported her missing the next day, March 3, when she did not return home.
Officers tried locating the girl through the cellular phone she had been using, but they only received a general location. They also knocked on doors, asking neighbors if they had seen the girl.
The family and friends launched their own search campaign, putting up missing posters in local businesses, e-mailing others asking for help and prayers, and organizing search parties.
On March 6, an off-duty detective walking along a trail in the Klahanie area came across a group of distraught people. The group had found a body that matched the description of the girl. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office determined she had hanged herself.
Middle schools across the Issaquah School District announced her death to their students March 7. The girl attended Pine Lake Middle School as a sixth-grader and Pacific Cascade Middle School as a seventh-grade student.
The principals at each school e-mailed parents, telling them each school would offer extra counseling.
In her e-mail, Pacific Cascade Principal Dana Bailey asked the community to respect the “privacy of the family, and we understand at this point that the memorial services will be private.”
Both Bailey and Pine Lake Principal Roy Adler asked parents and guardians to be aware of how their children were handling the news of the passing of their classmate.
“If you notice any signs of grief — such as sadness, anger, irritability, anxiety, loneliness, detachment, listlessness, stomachaches or appetite changes — please do not hesitate to contact our counseling office for assistance,” both of their e-mails read.
Laura Geggel: 392-6434, ext. 241, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.