Requiem for a stranger

A body was found floating in Elliott Bay on August 8. There were a couple of sentences in the news about it. A ferry passenger spotted it, the fire department in cooperation with the coast guard retrieved it and turned it over to the King County Medical Examiner's office. A few days later, it was reported in another few sentences that the body had been identified as Dean Halpaus of Renton.

And that was it. Cause of death pending toxicology tests, blah blah blah. Mr. Halpaus just disappeared off the radar. Who was he? How did he get in the Bay? Did he drown? I know he was found fully clothed, including shoes and a belt. So, it wasn't a swimming or diving accident.

Mr. Halpaus showed up in the King County Deaths list as having died on August 1. So, was he floating in the Bay for a week before anyone found him? What happened between August 1 and August 8?

I did a google search for “Dean Halpaus,” not really expecting to find anything. But, to my surprise I only found one Dean Halpaus on the net. He was one of the riggers who helped tow the Battleship New Jersey from Bremerton to the east coast back in 1999. Since the company he worked for is based here in Seattle, there's a good chance this is the same Dean Halpaus, a man who seemingly lived his life in obscurity and died with barely any notice in spite of the odd circumstances.

So, here's to Dean J. Halpaus of Renton. May he rest in peace. May those he left behind find comfort. If there was foul play involved, may those who did him harm be punished, may any others who were harmed find peace.

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