Woman’s body found in ditch identified; may have drowned

BANGOR — A woman’s body was found shortly after 7 a.m. Feb. 27 in a drainage ditch on the west side of NW Clear Creek Road, near gate 1 of Naval Base Kitsap — Bangor.

The County Coroner’s office identified the woman as Pamela McNeil, 57.

A county employee conducting maintenance in the area called 911 to report finding McNeil’s body, Kitsap County Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said. The employee called 911 and patrol deputies went to the scene.

Sheriff’s detectives are investigating; persons with information may contact Detective Ken Smith at 360-337-4998, reference case report K14-001970.

McNeil was found lying face down in the ditch, which contained water, he said. She was wearing civilian clothes.

“At this point, there is nothing obvious to indicate criminal actions were involved in her death,” Wilson said. “Pending results of the autopsy, it appears she may have been walking, stumbled and fell into the ditch, and drowned.”

He added, “An autopsy is scheduled to be performed by the county’s forensic pathologist. The coroner will make a determination as to cause and manner of death.”

Tony Stewart of the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office said he expected the autopsy to be conducted the afternoon of Feb. 27.

McNeil’s body was found in an actively travelled area, with neighborhoods nearby and within a four-minute walk of Clear Creek Elementary School. Wilson theorized that if she had died earlier than the previous evening, her body would not have gone unnoticed. He said it’s possible she died the previous evening.

NW Clear Creek Road was closed to through traffic between NW Mountain View Road and NW Piper Court for nearly four hours while law enforcement officers investigated at the scene.

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