Who was Cheryl DeBoer?
Cheryl DeBoer was a 54-year-old woman who lived in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. She worked as a research scientist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. She was married and had two adult sons. She was described by her family and friends as a kind, caring, and adventurous person who loved hiking, camping, and traveling.
How did Cheryl DeBoer die?
Cheryl DeBoer died on February 8, 2016, under mysterious and suspicious circumstances. She was supposed to meet a friend at the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center to carpool to work, but she never showed up. She texted her friend that she had to go back home to get her work badge and that she would take the bus instead. She was never heard from again.
Her car was found later that day in a parking lot near the transit center, with blood stains on the passenger side. Her body was found six days later by a group of searchers in a culvert near the King-Snohomish County line, about three miles away from her car. She had a plastic bag loosely taped over her head and small cuts on her fingers that appeared to be self-inflicted.
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that she died of asphyxia and freshwater drowning, but the manner of death was initially unclear. The police investigated her death as a homicide, but they ruled out her husband as a suspect and did not identify any other persons of interest. They also did not find any signs of a struggle or forced entry in her car or home.
In August 2016, the medical examiner’s office announced that they had ruled her death as a suicide, based on the evidence and the lack of any other plausible explanation. However, this conclusion was met with skepticism and disbelief by her family and friends, who said that she had no history of mental illness or suicidal tendencies, and that she had no reason to end her life. They also questioned how she could have walked three miles in the cold and dark, carrying a plastic bag and tape, without being seen by anyone or leaving any footprints.
What are the unanswered questions about Cheryl DeBoer’s death?
Cheryl DeBoer’s death remains a mystery that has left many unanswered questions. Some of the questions that her family and friends have raised are:
- Why did she text her friend that she had to go back home to get her work badge, when her badge was later found in her car?
- Whose blood was on the passenger side of her car, and how did it get there?
- How did she get from her car to the culvert, and why did she choose that location?
- How did she tape the plastic bag over her head, and why did she do it?
- Why did she have small cuts on her fingers, and what did she use to make them?
- Did she have any enemies or problems that could have motivated someone to harm her or make her death look like a suicide?
- Was there any evidence or witness that was overlooked or ignored by the police or the medical examiner?
What is the impact of Cheryl DeBoer’s death?
Cheryl DeBoer’s death has had a profound impact on her family, friends, co-workers, and community. They have expressed their grief, anger, frustration, and confusion over the loss of a beloved person and the lack of closure. They have also demanded justice and accountability from the authorities, and have called for a reopening of the investigation. They have organized vigils, fundraisers, and awareness campaigns to honor her memory and to seek the truth. They have also created a website, where they share updates, information, and resources related to her case.
Cheryl DeBoer’s death has also raised awareness about the issue of missing and murdered women, especially in the Pacific Northwest, where there have been several cases of unsolved disappearances and deaths of women over the years. Some of these cases have been linked to serial killers, such as Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgway, and Israel Keyes, while others remain unknown. Cheryl DeBoer’s case has highlighted the need for more attention, resources, and support for the families and friends of the victims, as well as for the prevention and protection of women from violence.
Cheryl DeBoer’s death has also sparked a debate about the accuracy and reliability of the medical examiner’s determination of the manner of death, especially in cases where the cause of death is not obvious or conclusive. Some experts have argued that the medical examiner’s office may have been influenced by the police’s investigation, or that they may have made assumptions or errors based on incomplete or conflicting evidence. Others have defended the medical examiner’s office, saying that they followed the best practices and standards, and that they based their decision on the available facts and the absence of any other reasonable explanation. They have also pointed out that the manner of death is not a legal verdict, but a medical opinion that can be challenged or revised if new evidence emerges.
What is the current status of Cheryl DeBoer’s case?
Cheryl DeBoer’s case is currently closed, as the police and the medical examiner have concluded that she died by suicide. However, her family and friends have not accepted this outcome, and they continue to seek answers and justice. They have hired a private investigator, a forensic pathologist, and a lawyer to review the evidence and the investigation, and to explore other possible scenarios and theories. They have also filed a public records request to obtain the full police and medical examiner’s reports, as well as other documents and materials related to her case. They hope to find new clues or inconsistencies that could reopen the case or lead to a different conclusion.
Cheryl DeBoer’s family and friends have also launched a petition on asking the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office to appoint a special prosecutor to review her case and to conduct an independent and thorough investigation. They have also asked the public to sign and share the petition, and to contact the prosecutor’s office and other officials to express their support and concern. They believe that there is more to Cheryl DeBoer’s death than what has been revealed, and that there is still a chance to find the truth and to honor her legacy.