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Human skull found in south Seattle park ruled a homicide

Upon examination, the King County Medical Examiner's Office found evidence the victim had been stabbed and ruled the death a homicide.

SEATTLE — A human skull found in a south Seattle park is under investigation as a homicide.

In a blotter post on Monday night, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) said officers responded to Be’er Sheva Park just after 7 a.m. on March 8 for a report of a found human skull.

Walking to Be’er Sheva Park in Rainier Beach is a common occurrence for Laura Dempster and her family. “Definitely daily multiple times a day,” said Dempster.

That’s why it came as such a surprise when she heard what was discovered on March 8. “Hazel has been really into the sandbox lately. Now I’m worried that we might find a skull if we dig too much,” said Dempster.

“According to the Seattle Parks employee, he recovered the skull when he was cleaning debris from bushes in that fenced-off area,” said Shawn Weismiller who is an officer with the Seattle Police Department.

The King County Medical Examiner’s office ruled the person's death a homicide.

“It stated that the trauma that they observed to the skull was in their analysis from a stab wound,” said Weismiller.

That’s about all the information KING 5 has been given. There’s one question every neighbor and parkgoer we talked to had. 

“I want to know how long it has been there,” said Dempster.

A question the Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to determine. 

“That park is like the living room of Rainier Beach,” said Shannon Waits who lives up the road and said she hopes this discovery doesn’t perpetuate some people's fear of the area.

“Anytime violence happens in the South End, it just adds to the stereotype that people already have which is not the correct one,” said Waits.

Because ultimately, it’s about the victim. “My original thought was concern for the family and community who has been wondering where that person is and what happened,” said Waits.

Though they’d like answers, Dempster said this won’t deter her from going to the park, “No, I don’t see that changing.”

Neighbors also told KING5 that parts of the park are going under construction this spring. They’ll be adding a stage and fitness area and opening up the lake access.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the SPD Violent Crimes Tip Line (206) 233-5000.

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