Coroner awaits toxicology results before releasing cause, manner of Suquamish woman’s death

  • Fri Apr 21st, 2017 8:55am
  • News

LITTLE BOSTON — A funeral is scheduled for April 22 at the House of Awakened Culture for Jessica Santos, whose body was found on April 13 in a forested area of the Port Gamble S‘Klallam Reservation.

She was 23 and a Suquamish Tribe member. She had been missing for almost a week.

The FBI is investigating her death with the assistance of the Port Gamble Police Department.

The Kitsap County Coroner completed an autopsy on April 17, and would not release cause or manner of death pending toxicology results, which could take six to eight weeks. However, when pressed on whether foul play was suspected, Deputy Coroner Alan White said on April 19, “Not at this time.”

Santos was reportedly last seen on April 7. Search-and-rescue volunteers with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office found her body on April 13 “in a vegetated area in the northwestern portion of the reservation,” FBI Seattle Division media coordinator Ayn Dietrich-Williams told Kitsap Daily News on April 17.

Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe general manager Kelly Sullivan said the area where Santos’ body was found — nearl Cliffside Road and Hood Canal Drive — is marshy, densely wooded with alders, and “not typically” traveled on foot.

Dietrich-Williams warned against drawing any conclusions about Santos’ death.

“[The] cause of death has yet to be determined,” she told Kitsap Daily News on April 17. “Our investigation is ongoing, so it would be premature to make any conclusions based on the scene.”

In her obituary, Santos’ family described her as a “very beautiful soul on the inside and out” who loved to dance, sing, and support her culture.