Remains found in '07 identified

A human skull and other remains found in March 2007 on a logging trail in the Cedar Flats area off of Delphi Road have been identified as belonging to an Alzheimer's patient who disappeared in May 2003.

DNA analysis has positively identified the skull and bones as belonging to Harold Lewin, 45, who was last seen by his father on May 4, 2003. Lewin had lived alone in a cottage in the 6900 block of Pacific Avenue Southeast, east of Lacey.

Thurston County Coroner Gary Warnock said Thursday that the cause and manner of Lewin’s death are undetermined.

In a 2003 interview after Lewin’s disappearance, his brother Rick said Lewin had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about five years earlier and had become increasingly forgetful. Lewin was receiving treatment at area hospitals, his brother said.

Rick Lewin also said his missing brother had four children and five grandchildren and that it would be unlike him to vanish.

Lewin’s skull was found in late March 2007 by a man who lives off Canning Court and was looking for his dog on a logging path several hundred yards from his home. The skull was found partially covered in moss and was missing a lower jaw. In the following days, cadaver dogs located other bones and clothes scattered around the area where the skull was found, said Thurston County Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Mealy.

Warnock said DNA analysis identified the skull as Lewin’s several months ago.

Investigators simply don’t have enough information to say whether foul play factored into Lewin’s death, or if he just wandered off and died accidentally, Mealy said. “We’re keeping all of our options open,” Mealy said.

Lewin’s funeral is scheduled for Monday in Elma, a family member said.

Rick Lewin also said in 2003 that his brother was a former Navy cryptographic technician and once worked in a lumber mill.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5465