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3 suspicious deaths draw attention in Ballard even as crime trends down

SPD is investigating a suspicious death after a woman was found dead in Ballard. It’s one of three unusual circumstances that have happened in the last two weeks.

SEATTLE — Three unusual deaths over the past eight days in Ballard have some people on alert, but a local leader says crime is actually down in the area.

Monday morning the Seattle Police Department responded to a woman who had died outside of the Toft Terrace. It was initially called in as a shooting, but police later said the woman was not shot and her death is no longer being investigated as a homicide.

“The female victim is a 44-year-old and as of right now, we don’t know the circumstances of why she was found out here," said Detective Judinna Gulpan.

Five days ago, a young child was found dead under bushes in the 5300 block of Shilshole Ave NW. The call came in at 11:30 a.m. that the child was found outside in some bushes. 

Last Monday, a business owner on 15th Avenue NW shot and killed a robbery suspect. He was also shot by the robber and is in serious condition.

“Ballard has certainly changed,” said Paige Wager, who's owned Ballard CrossFit for 15 years.

“We lock the doors when people aren’t around. We’re here at 5:30 in the morning and 10 at night so we have a long span of being open. We just try to be observant about what’s happening around us,” said Wager.

Dao Trih is the owner of Ballard Pho and said he put gates on his windows this month after getting broken into twice since January. 

“Hopefully we can prevent that in the future,” he said. 

Trih said the suspicious deaths are concerning. 

"The lives are more important than the money,” he said.

District Six Councilmember Dan Strauss said people shouldn’t be worried. 

“Overall crime in Ballard is down per SPD’s crime stats and each of these incidents have been specific, targeted acts of violence or criminal behavior, these are not random acts of violence,” he said.

Though this past week has community members on alert. 

“It’s scary, but it sort of seems like it’s the way of our city now, unfortunately,” said Wager.

Plymouth Housing owns the Toft Terrace building, which is considered 'supportive housing,' and said in a statement the nonprofit is cooperating with police and doesn't know if the woman was a resident.

SPD was not able to give KING 5 any new updates on the child that was found on Shilshole.

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