The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Unidentified remains are those of a Seattle man


January 19, 2017

The human remains discovered on the shore of the Columbia River in Wahkiakum County last May have been identified, and the identity confirmed through DNA comparison with samples donated by relatives, Prosecutor/Coroner Dan Bigelow announced Tuesday.

The man was Seattle resident Richard Arneson who was 62 years old when he was last seen on February 4, 2015. Because of the condition of his remains, which led authorities to initially suspect that they had been in nature for up to two years, Arneson’s cause of death remains undetermined.

The Seattle Police Department continues to investigate his disappearance, Bigelow said, which, according to press accounts, occurred the day he sent a cryptic text to a friend saying his “luck has run out.”

Bigelow said Wahkiakum County thanks the public for its interest and participation in this case, which generated many valuable leads in the search for the identity of Mr. Arneson’s remains.

“I was awed and humbled by the number of people who were willing to give their attention and time to help give a name to the unidentified remains in my care,” Bigelow said. “Each one has my strong gratitude.”

The county particularly thanks State Forensic Anthropologist Dr. Kathy Taylor for her efforts and expertise, which were the key to the identification of Mr. Arneson’s remains, Bigelow said.

“There is no one in this state who is more dedicated to making sure peoples’ remains are laid to rest under their right names, and there is no one in this state who is better at it,” Bigelow said.


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