UPDATED: Man's body found hanging underneath Deception Pass Bridge
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
December 11, 2009 · Updated 4:04 PM
A 32-year-old Snohomish man committed suicide by hanging himself from a support girder underneath Deception Pass Bridge Wednesday afternoon, according to Island County Coroner Robert Bishop.
Bishop identified the man as Matthew Krugel. Krugel had been staying with family in Snohomish until the last couple of days preceding his death, when he apparently was living out of his car. He didn't have any known connection with Whidbey Island or Deception Pass.
"I don't know why he picked that spot," Bishop said. "We'll never know."
A couple of hikers on Pass Island, which is located in the center of the two-section bridge, found the body at about 3:30 p.m. A rope was tied around the man's neck and was secured to the lowest girder underneath the southern span of the bridge. Bishop said the man's feet were touching the ground.
The time of death was about 3:15 p.m., Bishop said. Kruger parked his car near the site, but didn't leave a note.
Deception Pass Park Manager Jack Hartt said park rangers were the first to responded to a report of "someone hanging from the bridge" and found the body.
"It was not what I was expecting," he said. "It was pretty disturbing."
The Island County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case to rule out any foul play. Bishop said there's "absolutely no indication" it was anything other than a suicide.
Wednesday afternoon, investigators used police tape to cordon off the walkway on Pass Island.
Bishop said that an average of a couple of people a year kill themselves at Deception Pass by jumping off the bridge or shooting themselves. In 15 years as coroner, he's never before dealt with a hanging at the bridge.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.