WA - Unidentified Male: "Lyle Stevik", Grays Harbor, 17 Sept 2001 - #2

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coldcaseman

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I was the Detective who investigated the Lyle Stevik case. I just retired a few months ago, and just found this site. To answer some previous posts: Lyle arrived by bus, possibly one that came from Port Angeles (south), but a bus came up from Aberdeen (northbound) and arrived about the same time. Neither driver was sure if he was on their bus. He arrived with no luggage, and there was no luggage, clothing, etc. in the motel dumpster. The book "you must remember this" deals with the main character considering suicide. I often if the web info from "Steven" concerning suspension hanging was Lyle. He may have come from Canada, as the clerk recalled that he had "a slight Canadian accent". The fact he wrote the word "suicide" on a piece of paper I found in the trash leads me to believe he wrote a letter home, telling someone of his intentions, that he was going to disappear, so they aren't looking for him. He may have been dying, or suffered from depression, as he lost a lot of weight, although nothing was found at the autopsy. I saw no indications that he ever wore a wedding ring. His eyes are open in the photos because I opened them, to make him look as alive as possible for the photo. He didn't tape the pillows to the wall on the coat rack, they were wedged between the rack and the wall. This was a very unusual case. I still work on it, just to make sure Lyles loved ones know what happened to him and where he is buried. I appreciate any help.
 

WhiteWolf

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I've been doing a little searching for relatives of Lyle, but haven't tried to contact any of the people with the last name "Stevik". I found some from Canada, Alaska, the East Coast, and even a reporter for the Everett newspaper with the last name Stevik. How do you go about finding his relatives?
 

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coldcaseman said:
I was the Detective who investigated the Lyle Stevik case. I just retired a few months ago, and just found this site. To answer some previous posts: Lyle arrived by bus, possibly one that came from Port Angeles (south), but a bus came up from Aberdeen (northbound) and arrived about the same time. Neither driver was sure if he was on their bus. He arrived with no luggage, and there was no luggage, clothing, etc. in the motel dumpster. The book "you must remember this" deals with the main character considering suicide. I often if the web info from "Steven" concerning suspension hanging was Lyle. He may have come from Canada, as the clerk recalled that he had "a slight Canadian accent". The fact he wrote the word "suicide" on a piece of paper I found in the trash leads me to believe he wrote a letter home, telling someone of his intentions, that he was going to disappear, so they aren't looking for him. He may have been dying, or suffered from depression, as he lost a lot of weight, although nothing was found at the autopsy. I saw no indications that he ever wore a wedding ring. His eyes are open in the photos because I opened them, to make him look as alive as possible for the photo. He didn't tape the pillows to the wall on the coat rack, they were wedged between the rack and the wall. This was a very unusual case. I still work on it, just to make sure Lyles loved ones know what happened to him and where he is buried. I appreciate any help.
Nice to see you!!

I sent this e-mail to the Doe Network with some theories I had on him:

Hi,

I have been following the "Lyle Stevik" case since I knew about it and I have a theory:

- since it seems that not too many people from the USA or Canada (most likely) actually know who this man is or recognize his face, "Lyle Stevik" may possibly be from Europe and or any other continent, but could have lived in Canada or a similar place long enough to have had the possible accent that he had

I do wonder if John Doe's sketch has ever been circulated to The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada or any other immigration departments to see if anyone recognizes him.

I also had an idea that his sketch should be posted on Missing and Unidentified websites from around the world to see if anyone from any country will recognize him and help identify him

~Thanks for your time
 

scandi

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Hi Dark_Shadows,

What a fascinating study this case is! I know people commit suicide every day, but when you actually stop and consider it, it gives one the heeby-jeebies {at least it did me}. Maybe it was seeing his 2 photos. He looks so sad, and probably part of that is because he is dead, in fact I would almost call it a forelorn vacant look.

Coldcaseman, we are honored to have you here and so glad you found our site. Thanks for your comments. Of course there are questions I have and I know answers might be few.

He gave an address in Meridian Idaho. Their website for the town was dated in 2001 so there may be nothing to learn here, but am wondering if a local paper there published any info about this person who committed suicide and stated he was from that town in the normal time for a death notice.

I think the photos have been retouched. I do see his one eye is swoolen above and below it, as is the part of the cheek adjacent to his mouth on the same side of his face. I see red blotches on his forehead and a red irritation of some sort on his chin. And then where his adams apple is, it is an indentation that is red, and I can see redness on that swoolen side going around at the top of his neck.

Coldcaseman, I don't know if you are at liberty to say, but in real life since you attended him, was it obvious to you that he had hanged himself? I know the blood pools by gravity so that is why we don't see the normal darkness on one side of his face, but did you notice any swelling? You have no suspicions of murder made to look like a suicide?

That leads me to the hanging itself. I went to the 'Steven' suicide link { distressing :eek: } and am wondering if the rope that held him was tied and positioned like the one drawn there. Were you there when he was taken down? I'm sure you have seen suicides before since you were an investigator, but would you say this one was quite normal? I know that sounds odd, but wondering if anything stood out in your mind?

Thanks Scandi
 

scandi

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Another thought:

I find it odd he went to a motel in Grays Harbor City Wa, as it is a town you could pass by and hardly know it was there. Their promo describes it as the perfect getaway. Hey, I can't even find a motel located there on the internet!

I realize a place like this is a great spot to commit suicide, but what I am getting at is you would have to be somewhat local to even know it was there. It took quite a bit of Googling to locate it due to it being tiny and located in
Gray's Harbor County, of the same name.

It lies just west about 1 1/2 miles of Hoquim Wa which is adjacent to Aberdeen Wa, seperated by the Chehalis River I believe, and these two cities are quite major in the area and would call them conjoining. I've been there oodles of times when I lived in Olympia and traveled back and forth everyday in my job as a door to door saleslady.

So you are in Aberdeen, you drive across the river into Hoquim and go through town heading west and then find you are on the road that runs along the harbor, which is really like a huge bay that is 15 miles long by 11 miles wide. Drive 1 1/2 miles westerly and off to the right is an exit road to
Grays Harbor City.

I only write about this to give you a mindset of the location. I find it helps to have a mental picture of the area when discussing a crime.

Another thought comes to mind, that was the hotel he was found in really in this tiny burg of a town or maybe in either Hoquim or Aberdeen. Those two cities are full of cheap old hotels from the days past, and they still make the towns have a look of the real old days when they cut the railroad line in to haul out the timber. I could have called them seedy hotels, but that might give the wrong impression. LOL LOL

Also I have a hard time thinking of him as Mexican or Latino because he is way taller than the average guy with that heritage. Hispanic, samd thing.


Scandi
 

scandi

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Ah Haa! I didn't note before he was found in Amanda Park Wa. That is probably in Gray's Harbor County but is up Hwy 101 on Lake Quinault. Here's a map. I'll have to see what I can learn about it, but think it is a vacation spot because of the lake.

I bet this is the motel because it has an RV Park along with the motel:

Amanda Park Motel & Rv Park, 8 River Dr, Amanda Park, WA 98526



Sorry! :D

Scandi
 

coldcaseman

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Yes, I was the one that worked the scene. He used his leather belt, and it was fashioned similar to the one depicted in stevens story. He had placed a washcloth between the belt and his neck, to make it more comfortable. He then bend down, and his knees were almost touching the floor. Everything was consistant with suicide. Lividity was consistant with suspension hanging. There was no swelling on his face. The eye appears swollen due to my attempt to open his eyes and make him look "alive". All of his clothing were brands found in North America. I found nothing foreign. Another point that wasn't in the flier was that the $20 bills he left for the room were crisp, as though he had just gotten them from a bank. There is no bank nearby. As for Meridian Idaho, I sent his photos to the Meridian Police Department. They showed them to the employees, and no one recognized him. Neither did the Police. I'm thinking that he stopped there on his way through. I did a nationwide search for Lyle Stevik. I did find a Lyle Stevick in Oregon, who was still alive and well. I spent many hours on this case, even though there was no crime committed. Even though I believe that he has notified his family that there was no need to look for him, I want to be sure. He is buried in an unmarked grave at Fern Hill cemetary in Aberdeen, and that is not right.
 

coldcaseman

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Amanda Park is on the North Shore of Lake Quinault, part of it is in the Olympic National park. It is in the Northern part of Grays Harbor county, about 25 miles North of Aberdeen/Hoquiam. I'm not surprised there isn't much about the motel on the internet. It is a small motel, what I would call a no tell-motel. The clerk didn't even ask to see Lyles identification, she just had him fill out his name and address on the back of the payment envelope. If you are from the East coast, you would think you couldn't get much further West. We would actually get people from other parts of the country who would come to Grays Harbor to commit suicide. It is their attempt to disappear, to keep the suicide as far away from loved ones as possible.
 

coldcaseman

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Go to thedailyworld.com. In the archives search field type "youmans". There is an article from Feb. on Lyles case. You can also go to seattletimes.com. In archives type "youmans dna". It is an article about my cold cases (not Lyles, but cold murder cases). I've never turned down help from any source. I would just love to find out who Lyle was.
 

scandi

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How interesting Coldcaseman. Websleuths often draws people of note, but to talk to an investigator, well that is almost my idea of heaven!~ Note I said almost ;) .

You said you think he went through Meridian to his destination. He doesn't appear to be an indigent or homeless person so possibly was an average citizen with a family and job. He then could have access to a computer and maybe picked his destination off the internet.

Lake Quinailt would be perfect as it is remote but accessible by bus and not too busy for a resort area by the Lake. And if it was the Amanda Park Motel and RV Park where he stayed, it is not far from 101 so he could walk there.

Were his shoes clean and neat and his clothing not tattered or well worn and dirty? Interesting many come to Gray's Harbor County to end their lives.

I will go to your site and read - with relish. Sounds like you were a great investigator, and bet they really miss having you around!


Scandi
 

outofthedark

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Also I have a hard time thinking of him as Mexican or Latino because he is way taller than the average guy with that heritage. Hispanic, samd thing.
"Lyle" is also much taller than the average height of Native American men- therefore- making that possibility of him being Native slim.

Concerning his autopsy photos- on the second one where the side of his face is photographed, there appears to be a dark freckle on the side of his face- I have the same type of freckles so to me that's what it looks like. Also on the 1st photo showing his face, there appears to be what might be stubble on his chin- which oddly isn't seen in the other photo

Another website gives his estimated age as 25 years old
 

scandi

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Hope you don't mind Coldcaseman, but I brought back a link so everyone can read this article right away:

http://www.thedailyworld.com/articles/2006/02/19/local_news/01news.txt

A wonderful testiment to you, and also nice to see your pic. I like your style of hat, shades of Sherlock, and from reading the other article about your retirement I can see how that fits! The Sheriff's Dept certainly appreciated all of your hard work and abilities and it is a given the man who walks in your shoes will have to be as diligent to fill them.

I always loved Montesano. I often stopped there on my way down to Aberdeen. A nice little town. Gee, that was back in the late 70's. How time does fly! LOL Once when I was driving a bit east of Montesano after dark, a deer ran out into the road in front of me and stood then paralyzed with fear with those big round eyes staring directly at me. My heart skipped many beats, but I was able to stop my car to avoid hitting her. Thankfully!


Scandi
 

coldcaseman

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He has some sparse stubble, but had shaved within a few days. The age of 25 is an educated guess. He was at least 20, due to his dentition. His clothes and boots were in very good shape. Very clean and not damaged or worn. I could tell he had worn the belt for along time, as all of the belts notches had been used, as though he was losing weight, and kept tightening his belt. His clothing wasn't soiled from wearing a long time. I believe he discarded his belongings before he reached the motel, or in another dumpster besides the motels. The clerk thought he might have had a backpack, but wasn't sure. It's interesting that he asked to change his room, as the first one is next to a trailer park, and there was alot of noise. He took the bed spread off of the bed and draped it over the window curtain to insure no light would leak out. I've worked many suicides, but I've never had one who made sure his bill was paid. Suicide is a very selfish act, where the person is mostly thinking about themselves.
 

coldcaseman

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Yes, that is a small mole on the left side of his chin. That, plus the fact that he doesn't have ear lobes (the photos don't show that) makes it easy to go through photos of missing persons.
 

outofthedark

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coldcaseman said:
He has some sparse stubble, but had shaved within a few days. The age of 25 is an educated guess. He was at least 20, due to his dentition. His clothes and boots were in very good shape. Very clean and not damaged or worn. I could tell he had worn the belt for along time, as all of the belts notches had been used, as though he was losing weight, and kept tightening his belt. His clothing wasn't soiled from wearing a long time. I believe he discarded his belongings before he reached the motel, or in another dumpster besides the motels. The clerk thought he might have had a backpack, but wasn't sure. It's interesting that he asked to change his room, as the first one is next to a trailer park, and there was alot of noise. He took the bed spread off of the bed and draped it over the window curtain to insure no light would leak out. I've worked many suicides, but I've never had one who made sure his bill was paid. Suicide is a very selfish act, where the person is mostly thinking about themselves.
I first thought that he wanted to change his room noise-wise because he probably thought that people would hear him while he hung himself on the coat rack

I'm quite suprised by the fact that his clothing wasn't soiled!!

Was he wearing anything else aside from what was listed on the web?

Have you checked any possible matches against him?
 

coldcaseman

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No, just his underwear. He was in a unit on the end of the motel, and they moved him closer to the middle. There weren't many people checked in, and none of them remembered him. It was noisy in the first unit. I checked every web site I could find on missing persons to compare pictures. That doesn't mean I missed him in one of those. It was wierd that his clothes were clean, he was clean, and he took care of his teeth.
 

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One thing that strikes me about this case is the date - four days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that the frequency of suicides usually have a small spike in the aftermath of tragic events (I recall a small number of suicides immediately after the murder of John Lennon that were "linked" to his death). I do not believe that someone who is stable would kill themselves as a result of such an event, but someone teetering on the edge may be pushed over by such a tragedy.

(I have not reviewed the whole threads concerning this case - please excuse me if this has already been covered.)
 

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coldcaseman said:
Yes, that is a small mole on the left side of his chin. That, plus the fact that he doesn't have ear lobes (the photos don't show that) makes it easy to go through photos of missing persons.
I used to think that it was either a pimple or a mole- but most of the time I thought it was a mole.
 

scandi

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Well I think we have made great headway today, learning about Lyle and his investigation, at least I have.

Now I'm wondering why a guy would be missing his ear lobes? Hmmmm Could it be involved in a ritual of some sort? I showed a guy who is a Chicano and part Aztec his 2 photos, and he thinks he looks quite Native American. Especially in the side view, but both pics. Very high cheekbones, square jaw and that hump on the nose.

Right now I'm thinking that might be an angle to attack, to see what tribe he is from. He also could have some white in him which is where his height came from. He had a good bringing up as shown by his habits.


Nitey Nite guys Scandi
 
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