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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dead man pulled from river may have been last person to see missing

Dead man pulled from river may have been last person to see missing

By Eric Stevick

GRANITE FALLS -- A man whose body was found in the South Fork Stillaguamish River on Sunday might be the last person to have seen a Granite Falls woman before she disappeared in June.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner on Tuesday identified the man as Colt Lee White, 23, of Granite Falls.

White was friends with Angela Gilbert, 41, who was reported missing in June. A third party reported that White and Gilbert went for a walk on private timberland near Granite Falls on June 2, and that White returned alone, saying that Gilbert had decided to continue walking by herself.

Gilbert has not been seen or heard from since. White was reported missing a few days later.

Although there were some reports that he had been spotted in the community after June 2, detectives investigating Gilbert's disappearance did not find him, Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said.

It is unknown how long White's body was in the river. Evidence suggests it was a few weeks, Hover said. For now, detectives aren't calling White's death suspicious, since the cause and manner of his death are unknown, Hover said.

"We were told by a third party that he was the last to see her before her disappearance but we never got a chance to confirm that," Hover said. "We're still searching for her, still asking anyone who knows something to contact us. We still don't know whether she met with foul play or went off on her own."

Gilbert had a history of scrapes with the law. She was wanted on warrants when she dropped from sight.

Prosecutors last week charged Gilbert with second-degree escape, a felony.

Gilbert was in jail for a February burglary charge. A judge on May 20 gave Gilbert permission to be released from custody for four hours that afternoon, and she never returned. Court records do not indicate why she was released.

A warrant was issued for her arrest a week later when she failed to show up for a drug court hearing.

White also had a warrant out for his arrest for failing to appear at a June 16 hearing in Cascade District Court in Arlington. He was charged with reckless burning and also had a fourth-degree assault charge pending.

The Washington State Patrol's missing persons unit said White hadn't been seen since June 2.

White attended Granite Falls schools, but it was not known Tuesday if he graduated, school district officials said.

A kayaker spotted his body around 5:30 p.m. Sunday. The kayaker contacted a Snohomish County park ranger who called the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

The body was recovered near the 14600 block of Jordan Road that night.

Anyone with information about White's death or Gilbert's disappearance should call the sheriff's office tip line at 425-388-3845.

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