Human remains found in woods identified as woman missing since last May

Human remains found in woods identified as woman missing since last May

OLYMPIA, Wash. — UPDATE: A woman missing for nearly a year has been identified as the person whose remains were found Thursday in a wooded area in northwest Olympia.

Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock identified the deceased woman as Karen J. Brocha, 63, who was last heard from on April 23, 2018 and was reported missing on May 1.

A person walking about 50 yards into the woods in the 2200 block of Overhulse Road Northwest found Brocha’s remains Thursday and notified the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

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Brocha was identified through dental records. Her remains will be transferred to the King County medical examiner’s office to determine a cause and manner of death.

The remains were found with personal effects nearby, including her identification, Warnock said.

The Sheriff’s Office had evicted Brocha from her home in April 2018, Lt. Tim Rudloff said Saturday. “She left pretty distraught,” he said.

Police were concerned at the time that she might be suicidal after she left her cat behind along with a note asking that it be taken care of.


Deputies with the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office found skeletal remains in Olympia on Thursday.

The Sheriff's Office said a citizen who had been walking in the woods near the 2200 block of Overhulse Road NW reported finding the remains around 4:46 p.m.

"Responding Patrol Deputies confirmed what appears to be full skeletal remains of an adult human. The remains are primarily intact within a small area and includes clothing and accessory items," the Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office and officials with the Thurston County Coroners Office responded to the scene to further investigate.

Officials decided to hold the scene due to daylight restrictions and said they would continue to investigate on Friday.

"Further details, such as the specific identity or manner of death, is unknown. Additional information will be released when it becomes available," the Sheriff's Office said.

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