The bodies of two teenagers missing in Washington State since last weekend are believed to have been found, the King County Sheriff’s Office have confirmed.
Officials believe they are the bodies of missing teens Austin Grote, 18, and his girlfriend, 17-year-old Alicia McCaskill, although medical examiners are yet to formally identify the deceased.
Sergeant Jason Stanley, speaking to Q13 News, said that descriptions of the missing couple’s clothing were similar to those found on the bodies.
The King County Sheriff’s Office and King County Search and Rescue team had been searching for Grote and McCaskill since Sunday. The couple were last seen the day before at a Safeway in Enumclaw, Washington, but never returned home.
Grote’s car was located near Mud Mountain Dam in the White River area, over six miles from the Safeway store. Searchers combing the surrounding area, north of Mount Rainier National Park, discovered a deceased teenage male and deceased teenage female yesterday morning.
Though the cause of death has not yet been confirmed, the King County Sheriff’s Office said in a tweet that “there is no sign of foul play.”
The role of freezing weather and flooding are now being considered and the King County Sheriff’s Office are working with the Army Corps of Engineers to determine a timeline of flooding in the area over the last few days, Q13 News reports.
“She’s always been my baby,” Alicia’s father, Frank Buresci, told Q13 News. “She did all kinds of stuff in the community for little kids”.
The Enumclaw School District sent an email out to students and families, advising that their “EHS counsellors have been meeting with students and staff to provide support during this difficult time of loss,” the Courier Herald reports. "Thank you for working together to support each other during this difficult time.”
Investigations to formally identify the bodies and to determine cause of death are ongoing.