Missing Seattle deputy fire chief, subject of massive search, found dead in mountains

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The body of Seattle’s deputy fire chief was found in the mountains Sunday, 12 days after he disappeared in eastern Washington, officials said.

The body of Seattle Deputy Fire Chief Jay Schreckengost, 56, was discovered near Cliffdell, about a half-mile from where his pickup truck was parked on Nov. 2, when he went scouting for elk and didn’t return, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

“There was no preliminary evidence of suspicious activity or foul play,” officials said.

The Kittitas County Coroner will confirm the chief’s cause of death.

The widespread search involved 60 different agencies and organizations.

“We’re saddened to give news of Chief Schreckengost’s passing to his family and fellow firefighters, and we ask the public and press to respect their privacy as they grieve his loss,” Sheriff Clay Myers said.

He praised the valiant search efforts, adding that “it was a tremendous outpouring of resources and effort that produced a vital result: a family knows what happened to their loved one and he can be brought home to them.”

In a statement Sunday evening, the Seattle Fire Department said: “We are incredibly saddened by this news and are all grieving the loss of one of our own. Deputy Chief Schreckengost was a husband, father and friend to all, and our hearts are with his family right now who have been at the site every day searching alongside search and rescue, fire and law enforcement agencies.”



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