Former relative of man killed says he'll be surprised if death is connected to DB Cooper case

Updated:

WOODINVILLE, Wash. —

 The former brother-in-law of a man killed in a Woodinville home said he will be surprised if his death had anything to do with the DB Cooper hijacking mystery. 

Although authorities have yet to confirm the man’s name, 71-year-old Earl Cossey is believed to be the man found dead by his daughter on Friday. King County investigators said the victim suffered head trauma.

In 1971, authorities called on Cossey to pack parachutes for hijacker DB Cooper, who then jumped out of an airplane between Seattle and Portland with $200,000.

Cooper has never been found and over the years, Cossey has helped FBI agents by examining parachutes that have turned up.

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Graham Johnson spoke with Richard Bowyer, who was married to Earl Cossey’s sister until her death. Bowyer said Cossey was an accomplished teacher and skydiver, who grew tired of talking about his role in the DB Cooper case.

“I will be very, very surprised when they figure out what happened has anything to do with the DB Cooper thing because it’s so old. It’s really in the past, a long time ago,” said Bowyer. “I know he got real tired of hearing about it.”

King County detectives said they are just starting to investigate the Woodinville homicide, and are not drawing any connections to the DB Cooper mystery.

Bowyer said over the years, reporters would often call Cossey’s home around Thanksgiving – working on anniversary stories about the case.

"Nothing happens in this family like that. It was a real shock, and I've had a hard time getting my hands around it," Bowyer said.

Bowyer told KIRO 7 that at first Cossey believed DB Cooper survived the jump, but later came to believe he did not.

The King County Medical Examiner could release details about the victim’s cause of death as soon as Monday afternoon.