Sheriff’s office: Suspect dies by suicide amid standoff during investigation into possible human remains near Yelm 


Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Mike Brooks confirmed that a male died by suicide on Tuesday night following a standoff while multiple agencies investigated potential human remains on a property on Old McKenna Road. 

Brooks told the Nisqually Valley News that at around 7 a.m. on May 21, local fire agencies responded to reports of an RV and a boat that caught fire. During the investigation, emergency responders discovered “what could be” human remains on the property, which led sheriff’s office detectives and patrol deputies, along with Yelm police officers, to the potential death investigation on an Old McKenna Road property. 

Roads in the area were subsequently closed, and the Washington State Patrol Bomb Squad responded to the scene. 

The investigation led to an adjacent piece of property on Old McKenna Road to an individual’s house, which law enforcement believed could’ve been to the situation, Brooks said. 

The lieutenant added that those on scene encountered two people, a man and a woman, upon entering the house. Once the woman exited the house, Brooks said a SWAT team took over and attempted to talk the remaining individual into exiting the home to further the investigation. 

“The male interacted with them for several hours and ultimately committed suicide,” Brooks said. “We’re back at ground zero where we started all this. We’re trying to investigate if there was a death out here. We’re not even sure of that yet.” 

Brooks added that investigators would remain on scene “for a while” throughout the nighttime hours of May 21 and the following days to find out “what they can get together on it.” 

According to Brooks, the sheriff’s office, the, Yelm Police Department, Washington State Patrol’s bomb squad,the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Thurston County Coroner's Office, Thurston County SWAT and its partnered agencies have responded to the ongoing situation. 

He said the coroner’s office is investigating the apparent suicide and the potential death investigation. The SWAT team’s partnered agencies include the Lacey Police Department, the Olympia Police Department, the Tumwater Police Department, the Yelm Police Department and the sheriff’s office.

“I can tell you it’s a known piece of property to the sheriff’s office that typically involves a lot of people,” he said.” It’s notorious for lots of people to be out here, and it’s not a place that we’d come to by ourselves.” 

The Nisqually Valley News will continue to provide updates as details regarding the suicide and potential death investigation unfold.