News Flash

Sheriff's Office

Posted on: August 3, 2023

Sheriff Peter’s Statement on Recent Tragedies on Decatur Island

Sheriffs Office News

SAN JUAN COUNTY, WA. August 3, 2023 – Sheriff Peter provides statements regarding recent incidents on Decatur Island. 

On July 12, 2023 around 10:00PM, multiple Sheriff’s Office personnel, a coroner representative from the Prosecutor’s Office, and EMS personnel, responded to a report of a Suicide on Decatur Island. Upon arrival at the scene, responders found a female victim who was deceased with a close contact wound to the head. After a thorough investigation and review of all the evidence it was determined that the subject had committed suicide. The victim was transported to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy investigation.

The preservation of life is of the utmost importance to the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office, and staff encourages anyone who is experiencing a crisis or knows someone who is experiencing a crisis to call 9-1-1 or the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

On July 22, 2023 around 9:19PM, deputies and the coroner responded to a report of a CPR/ALS (Advance Life Saving) call on Decatur Island. It was reported that a 69-year-old female fell off a cliff. A doctor who lives on Decatur responded to the scene and dispatch was notified that CPR efforts had ceased due to the severe nature of the trauma to the victim’s head. After an examination of the victim and an investigation at the scene that revealed no suspicious circumstances, it was determined that the death was a tragic accident caused by a fall while walking.  

“While we live in a spectacularly beautiful paradise, there are many areas on our islands that have the potential to be dangerous if we aren’t diligent about our safety,” said Sheriff Peter. “The San Juan County Sheriff’s Office wants everyone to enjoy the wonderful landscape in the San Juans and be cognizant of your safety at the same time. Try to walk, hike, kayak, & bike ride with a buddy when possible and be aware of the terrain where you are enjoying the islands,” said Sheriff Peter.

About San Juan County’s Sheriff’s Office   

San Juan County’s Sheriff’s Office is committed to protecting the lives, property, and rights of all residents and visitors, as well as to maintain order and reduce crime through education, prevention, and enforcement of the law. The Sheriff’s Office is located at 96 Second Street, Friday Harbor, WA 98250. For more information about San Juan County’s Sheriff’s Office, visit


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