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Body of missing student from Auburn found off Bellingham dock
A body pulled from Bellingham Bay by the U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday morning has been confirmed as missing Western Washington student Dwight Clark, an Auburn High School graduate.
Bellingham Police said a body was discovered by a Port of Bellingham worker off a dock near the former Georgia-Pacific log pond around 11 a.m. Wednesday. Police spokesman Mark Young told the Bellingham Herald that the body appeared to be male, and identification belonging to Clark was found in a pocket.
Although the medical examiner had not confirmed the identity of the body by press time, Young confirmed that police assumed the body – which appeared to have been in the water for several days – was that of Clark.
The 18-year-old freshman was reported missing on Sept. 26 when he failed to return to his dorm room after leaving a party near the WWU campus at approximately 2 a.m.
Police reported that at 2:40 a.m. a blank text was sent from the teen’s cell phone to a friend from downtown Bellingham, and Clark was believed to be on his way home to his dorm.
Police and volunteers were conducting a search for Clark, and a reward of $27,550 was offered for information about his disappearance.
Last Saturday, more than 100 of Clark’s family and friends turned out for a candlelight vigil at Brannan Skate Park.
Clark was well known and “loved the skate park” at Brannan, according to many of his family and friends.
“He’s just one of the best kids ever,” said Roger Roberts, one of Clark’s friends from the skate park.
Roberts was on hand at the vigil, taking a moment to scrawl “Love Ya Bro” in chalk next to a missing poster of Clark surrounded by candles.
“Disappearing like this is not something he would have done,” Roberts said.
A gathering was conducted at the University’s Red Square on Wednesday to remember Clark.
Fifteen years ago, another WWU student’s body – Blair Grandstrom of Bellevue – was found in the water near where Clark’s was discovered.
Grandstrom was also reported missing after attending a party near the University. The Whatcom County Medical Examiner reported that there were no signs of trauma or injuries to Grandstrom and that the 20-year-old student’s blood alcohol level was “substantially above the legal limit for intoxication,” according to the Seattle Times.