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

Body of man who jumped from bridge found at Cape Horn


October 15, 2020

Last Thursday, a caller notified the Wahkiakum County Sheriff’s Department that they had discovered a deceased body, half buried, while walking along the Columbia River in the Little Cape Horn area. Deputies and the coroner responded.

Fingerprints were obtained, and the individual has been identified as Mark R. Vinson, 61. He had no fixed address.

Several attempts have been made to contact the next of kin.

“We believe he is the same individual who was reported jumping from the Lewis and Clark Bridge on the 25th of September,” Wahkiakum County Coroner Dan Bigelow said Tuesday.

At 4:11 p.m that day, witnesses reported seeing a man jump off the Lewis and Clark Bridge, which spans the Columbia River between Longview and Rainier. Despite the efforts of the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Police officers, and the United States Coast Guard, as well as the use of drones and boats, they were unable to locate the subject.

“Even without any officer seeing anyone go over, they brought out a boat, divers, radar, a drone,” Bigelow said. “They didn’t find him, but it’s not for want of searching. It’s not because they didn’t take this seriously. I was impressed by the work they did.”

After the remains were found, Cowlitz County attempted to make an identification using their state of the art fingerprint capturing equipment, Bigelow said, but were unsuccessful.

“We made a call to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and they sent someone with sophisticated optical readers who came in on Friday, and by Monday, we had a print,” he added. “It is an identification that couldn’t have been made without the cooperation of multiple agencies.”


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