Marina Park drowning victim identified | UPDATE

County Sheriff
County Sheriff's Marine Unit deputies deploy sonar and cameras to search for a body of a suspected drowning victim Tuesday.
— image credit: Kendall Watson/Kirkland Reporter

The body of a suspected drowning victim found Feb. 6 near Marina Park has been identified.

The King County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim Monday as 27-year-old Des Moines resident Larry Charles Stephenson. The cause of death is still under investigation.

He was located around 2 p.m. by search and rescue divers from the King County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit at a depth of approximately 40 feet, near Kirkland’s Marina Park dock.

Stephenson, 27, was a graduate of Pasco High in 1999 and Washington State University in 2003 and leaves behind his wife Dolly, according to an obituary in the Tri-City Herald. His father Larry L. Stevenson, a Kennewick attorney of Matheson, Stephenson and Egan, notably served as defense counsel to Naveed Afzal Haq in the 2006 Jewish Federation shootings in Seattle.

"We don't understand why he would just go in the water and go for a swim when it's 32 degrees out," said Kirkland Police Lt. Mike Ursino.

According to the Tri-City Herald, the victim's father said he suffered from a mental illness and was off his medication at the time he jumped into Lake Washington.

"I am quite sure that he had a hallucination or a delusion that told him to go into the water, and that's what he did," he said.

Stephenson family members filed a missing person report Jan. 30 with the Kirkland Police Department, which is still under investigation.

Local police requested assistance from King County after receiving 911 calls on Jan. 26 of a person yelling for help in the same area where the body was located Friday. Search efforts were put on hold Jan. 27 but resumed last week and on Friday, using sonar, King County divers located and retrieved a body.

Family members held a "celebration of life" memorial service Feb. 7 in Kennewick and funeral arrangements are set for Feb. 12 at St. Patrick's Parish Church in Pasco.

The Kirkland Reporter will update the story as more information becomes available.

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