Body spotted in water near Washaway, not recovered


A body was spotted in the water off Washaway Beach south of Grayland in Pacific County Thursday afternoon, but efforts to retrieve it were unsuccessful, the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The body was spotted about 1:30 p.m. floating in the water by a boater who had been fishing in the area, but the body had disappeared by the time authorities arrived at the location. It was described as appearing to be decomposed.

“We never physically saw the body,” said Pat Matlock, chief criminal deputy. “They were adamant there was a body and it just had gotten away from them so we couldn’t make a recovery.”

The Coast Guard was called in to do a marine and air search, but nothing was spotted.

Matlock said there were no reports of anyone in the area missing, other than the suspected drowning of 14-year-old Chester “Lee” Jellesed in the surf near Westport on June 12.

The boy went out with a friend wading in the water when a wave hit them. He was swept out into deeper water while his friend was swept up onto the shore, according to a report of the incident.

A helicopter and several boats searched for the boy but he was not found and the search was suspended the following day.

Matlock said deputies were not making any presumptions until they recover the body but they believe “there is a good possibility” it is the body of Jellesed.