October 28, 2002
Bone found near Woodinville belongs to missing man
by Jeanette Knutson
Within the last three weeks, a total of three human bones were found near the Upper Bear Creek Conservation Area, just off Paradise Lake Road.
The most resent search - conducted the weekend of Oct. 19 by King County Sheriff's officers and 50 to 60 search and rescue volunteers - turned up nothing.
The King County Medical Examiner's Office identified the first bone, found Oct. 7, as belonging to Kenneth Allen Leopold, 39, of Woodinville, missing since February.
Though the two other bones have been looked at by medical examiners, their office has not released a statement confirming that those bones do, indeed, belong to Leopold.
"One bone has been identified," said King County Sheriff's Sgt. Kevin Fagerstrom, "and based on the location of the other two bones, the Medical Examiner's Office believes Mr. Leopold is deceased."
Sgt. Fagerstrom said, "We have not found the location of the remains. ... The bones were found where (local property owners') dogs rest and feed. These property owners have 100 acres. But there are probably another 1,000 acres out there.
"In our experience, bodies decompose rapidly, especially out in the open where animals might be around. We don't know if another animal brought the bones (to this particular property or what)," said Fagerstrom.
He said, "We know we have a death. We don't know the circumstances. We cannot determine if there was criminal involvement. There are a dozen different ways he might have died."
Snohomish County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Jan Jorgensen said, "Based upon the identification of the bone, Mr. Leopold has been taken off missing person status; however, the death is still under investigation."
Sgt. Fagerstrom said the King County Sheriff's Office has not determined whether it will continue searching. No boots or clothing or wallet was found.
Leopold was last seen around 11 p.m. Feb. 28, walking from a friend's house in the 22700 block of 133rd Avenue Southeast.
He was following a wooded trail back to his parents' home in Woodinville, where he lived.