Sheriff’s deputies investigate death outside Roxbury Safeway

(photo of Sheriff’s Office and Medical Examiner units at store, added 4:36 pm)
Thanks to Heather for sending us a note saying she had just seen King County Sheriff’s Deputies and what looked like a body outside Roxbury Safeway (map). We called KCSO’s media spokesperson Sgt. John Urquhart and he confirms, yes, it’s a body. Two men walked up carrying what was at first described as an unconscious woman; medics arrived and reported obvious signs she was already dead. Sgt. Urquhart says it’s too soon to speculate on the circumstances and whether a crime was involved, but he does say the investigators are looking into the possibility that the men and woman might be related to a “nearby homeless camp.” We’re on our way over to try to find out more. 4:14 PM UPDATE: Medical Examiner staffers are at the scene, investigating with deputies. Shoppers are being routed around the scene, which is out in front by the soda machines.

37 Replies to "Sheriff's deputies investigate death outside Roxbury Safeway"

  • Bonnie May 5, 2009 (4:18 pm)

    I was just there, saw them there and didn’t even know what it was about.

  • Gigi May 5, 2009 (4:48 pm)

    Except for the flashing lights on the Sheriff’s car, most people at Safeway didn’t seem to notice or stop and stare — of course we were dodging rain showers.
    I could see something covered up by a blanket/tarp, and a pair of shoes, which made me pause, but the Medical Examiner van was a pretty big tip that it must be a dead body.

  • toddinwestwood May 5, 2009 (5:05 pm)

    WTF?? The police know where the homeless camp is??? And they dont do anything about it???

  • WSB May 5, 2009 (5:19 pm)

    I’m not sure that police knew about it previously – this is what Sgt. Urquhart was reading off the original report called in. Much to be sorted out and I will be following up tomorrow … TR

  • Homeless camp May 5, 2009 (5:28 pm)

    not every spot where homeless gather or sleep is an illegal site. Right?

  • garybert May 5, 2009 (6:02 pm)

    Garybert & Garybert’s Lady have been volunteering in the restoration of Roxhill Bog Park for many years.
    I assume the homeless camp referred to is there since on our monthly work parties we find blankets,backpacks,liquor bottles, beer cans, assorted trash,clothing,you name it. It’s a bit disconcerting since we live miles away near the WS Junction and folks near the park don’t seem to take an interest in it except to turn their dogs off leash and trash the place.

  • Bikefor1 May 5, 2009 (6:50 pm)

    I bet it was an overdose.

  • Jeff May 5, 2009 (7:56 pm)

    I’m very surprised that Safeway was not shutdown while they worked the scene.

  • seattleamiga May 5, 2009 (8:03 pm)

    I’m literally houses from that Safeway…..should I be alarmed???!!!

  • Dave May 5, 2009 (9:13 pm)

    Gaybert, I take my kid to the park weekly, I have no idea where the derilicts live but I have seen them in the summer but not recently. Why can’t this city arrest them and throw them in jail? It’s about time we take pride in our parks no camping and we should enforce existing laws.

  • M. May 5, 2009 (10:15 pm)

    Arrested for being homeless. Lame. Why don’t you let them stay with you Dave?

  • Damien May 5, 2009 (10:22 pm)

    Dave, I wonder how you plan to pay for the hundreds of homeless people in this city you would need to lock up to avoid you having to trouble yourself with seeing them on the street. Which tax do you think we should raise to pay for all the extra officers needed to enforce that, or should we ignore other more important crimes?

    Something tells me you’re not in favor of building that jail here in West Seattle too.

  • CAROL May 5, 2009 (11:10 pm)

    Why are we so quick to judge everyone. This woman is probably soneones mother and just perhaps she died of natural causea. We really havc no need to fear her or her friends. They did take her where she could get help. How many of you would have tried to help her or would have even stopped.

  • Helen May 5, 2009 (11:27 pm)

    Sorry to hear that homelessness is an inconvenience for many here in West Seattle. I think this whole dialogue is troubling. Why don’t we consider the fact that these people have no where else to turn but bogs and bottles to be a major humanitarian issue? Where else but America can we pretend that homelessness does not exist if we just send ‘them’ away to a dark, hidden corner of our world that we can ignore?

  • been here a long time May 6, 2009 (6:51 am)

    For the person who asked “The police knew where homeless are and didn’t do anything about it?” and the comment about “derilicts”…
    In this economy I’ve met families who have lost both jobs with foreclosure looming. Where do you think they may end up?
    Many churches quietly host tent city’s in order to give the homeless a place to sleep and shower. It’s a also a resource to help some homeless connect with family who can help them, or other services that will take them off the streets. I don’t know about the rest of you, but for a few nice people out there, food bank’s and clothing drives do help these churches.
    There are thousands more people in Seattle then there used to be. The old resources are stretched. Our city has to serve more people with less finances anyway.
    If you hear of church hosting a tent city, then a little quiet help is always appreciated. Even talking to the homeless and seeing if they have family in the area can do more then you may guess.

  • been here a long time May 6, 2009 (6:59 am)

    I also have to mention to the people who are taking a hard line with the homeless… I hear people yell at the homeless “Get a JOB!”
    Well, I’ve met homeless people who DO have a job, but no way to afford the rent. I’ve met a lady who works for companies who help other homeless, but since it doesn’t pay enough… She too lives in her car and showers at the pool where my niece works.
    Working poor… they make minimum wage, not living wage.
    They too end up on the streets. They don’t get noticed as quickly as the men and women suffering through mental health.

  • Dave May 6, 2009 (7:08 am)

    No you are incorrect Damien, I think West Seattle creates a good portion of crime so we should step up to the plate and take responsibility for this and host the jail. Has anyone bothered to ask why is there close times on park signs when the city never enforces them? If you have a law in force it, it’s that simple!

  • Kayleigh May 6, 2009 (7:51 am)

    OMG, how rude and selfish of this woman to up and die and inconvenience people. Oh wait, she was inconveniencing some of you just by being homeless and trying to survive.
    We call that the David Lynch Safeway anyway–it has a very weird vibe even in the daytime. But nice that everybody was allowed to continue to shop.

  • Verde May 6, 2009 (7:55 am)

    All of this that you have all posted above, and not one word of compassion for the poor woman who is DEAD.

    Who had no shoes.

    Who people walked right by outside of the Safeway for who knows how long until my friend notified the staff that something was seriously wrong.

    All I see here is ME ME ME – am I safe, I have to look at homeless people, make the police take care of it, I don’t want to get involved, wah wah wah. Poor, poor you.

    Personally, I don’t feel safe because I apparently live in a community where people only care about themselves.

  • Steph May 6, 2009 (8:11 am)

    I feel so sorry for this woman. I heard some thing small on one of the local channels last night, but nothing this morning. Thank you WSB for keeping us up to date on news in our neihborhood even if it is sad.

  • cherylc May 6, 2009 (8:50 am)

    I was at the Safeway yesterday at about 4:50, and I didn’t see a thing. Not even the yellow tape. I wonder if I was so unobservant running through the rain with my baby, or if she was already gone by then?

    I’m glad her friends brought her somewhere she could be picked up and possibly claimed and buried by relatives.

  • todd in Westwood May 6, 2009 (9:13 am)

    Ohh the bleeding hearts here BOGGLE me.

    No one said ANYTHING about looking at, getting rid of, or whatever with this homeless camp.
    These are NOT newly homeless families. Not hard working folks who might be down on their luck.
    The people who we are talking about are seen walking up Roxbury, most of the time, drunk, stoned, loud, obnoxious, littering and last week, found passed out against my garage.
    It is very scary to raise a family with these people peeking over the fence when I have my child in the backyard. It is scary to find someone unresponsive laying up against your car n the morning when you want to go to work. Instead you have to call 911 to see if they are still alive. Spending my saturday mornings picking up empty cans of high alcohol beer, empty bottles of booze , and needles isnt that much fun.
    I have the feeling most of the people who are all for homeless rights to camp anywhere on anyone’s property, live somewhere where there is not a homeless problem.
    If you are so ready to help or yell at me about making comments about a homeless camp, I suggest you invite them over to camp in YOUR backyard, then we will talk about it.

  • todd in Westwood May 6, 2009 (9:22 am)

    I have a feeling if this person had died in front of the Metropolitan Market, it would be a different story. HMMM?

  • Kayleigh May 6, 2009 (9:37 am)

    Todd, you don’t know who this woman was or how she died or if she was even homeless. You also don’t know that the drunks and drug addicts who stumble into your world are in fact homeless or in any way connected to this woman. I hear your frustration and disgust, though. I have little patience for drunks myself.
    Might I suggest reading about those who are truly homeless and what causes homelessness (lots of the homeless are children) and what you can do about it, rather than making assumptions, though.

  • DB23 May 6, 2009 (9:46 am)

    I have been watching all the comments being left about this story since the very first minute it showed up on here. What a bunch of crap! “Oh my god a scary homeless person died right down the street from me, am I going to die too now”, “Is she gonna come back to life and rob me?”, “Where was the police?”, etc etc… You’re all cold hearted SOB’s! Mothers Day right around the corner and only one person mentions ANYTHING about her family in their comments! Where is her family? Did she have one? Is her little “derelict” daughter gonna starve to death now in the bushes? Does anyone care?

    Let me just tell you from my very OWN experiences of hard times and being homeless myself! Its not fun! Everyone treats you like crap! Everyone thinks you did it to yourself! Like said by someone else earlier, just because a person is homeless it doesn’t mean they are a bad person! Or that they are gonna automatically rob you when you walk by! A lot are ashamed for you to even look at them! Anyway, eventually someone took a chance in me and helped me when I was down. Now look at me, I own my own business, I own a big screen TV, I own a computer, I live in a HOUSE in a very nice neighborhood. I think its one of the most peaceful places in the Seattle area (right down the street from “the” Safeway)! I am now able to support my whole family even though I once was a worthless, evil, up to no good homeless person! Oh by the way thank you everyone for your nice comments and fantastic looks as you threw change or dollars in my direction!

    Maybe some of you should go right down the street to one of your many churches and ask where can I help! Maybe even just lend an ear to someone to hear how they got into this terrible situation they are in. Maybe they used to be just like YOU, lost there job, stuff piled up, next thing you know… the streets! It IS that easy! God forbid, but you might be the next one homeless in West Seattle!

    I am glad to know that possibly there is some homeless people living around me. So possibly I have SOME neighbors that have a heart. If any of you feel like cutting loose on me, go for it. I am not here for conflict, just sharing my feelings. Sorry if I offended many people, hopefully I opened a few eyes in the process.

    RIP “Jane Doe” Hope they are able to identify you and notify your poor family! Please everyone hug the people you love cause you never know if that will be your or their last hug ever!

  • Verde May 6, 2009 (10:11 am)

    Whether they are the working poor, or the drunks and the derelicts, something happened at some point to put these folks in that situation. They are deserving of some compassionate understanding as our fellow humans, no matter what the situation.

    My heart does not bleed so much that I think you should allow them to camp in your yard, or be allowed to leave their needles and beer bottles around your kids. But it at least pumps enough to think about this poor woman and would you have wanted your final moments to be spent left lying unattended outside of a Safeway? What brings someone to this place? Is there a way to help someone else so that they don’t end up like that, and so they’re not wandering around purposeless and leaving their Thunderbird bottles in your yard? Not just an angry diatribe about how disgusting it all is.

    I had been on the fence about whether or not I “had the time” to do some volunteering at some upcoming community clean-up events, so I would like to thank you all for pushing me over the edge. Of course I can find the time, and I feel lucky that I have the ability to contribute to my community. I won’t waste that opportunity.

  • Arbor Hghts Resident May 6, 2009 (10:24 am)

    Just heard on the scanner @ 9:55am Safeway has video for the KC Sheriff’s to pick up of this incident.

  • WSB May 6, 2009 (10:33 am)

    Would certainly hope they had cameras outside. We’ll be following up with KCSO today – also with the Medical Examiner, which usually releases info in mid-afternoon.

  • DLP May 6, 2009 (10:38 am)

    For those interested in learning more about homelessness or assisting homeless families right here in West Seattle: Family Promise of Seattle has been operating since July 2008. We mobilize local faith groups and other community resources to provide temporary housing, meals and case management for newly homeless families as they seek employment and stable housing. Through FPS, homeless families are offered temporary nighttime lodging and meals in community congregational facilities. Guest families are transported by network van to the day center, located in West Seattle, for case management. At the day center, families have access to a mailing address, a place to relax and tend preschool children, the Internet, laundry, and showers.At present, we can serve three families (14 people) at any given time.

    See for more information; or email us at

  • WSB May 6, 2009 (10:40 am)

    And we did a feature story on Family Promise several months back:

  • Note May 6, 2009 (10:49 am)

    It’s disgusting that the store manager didn’t have the decency to close the store. Just continue shopping America…..Really does this not turn the stomach?

  • Alcina May 6, 2009 (11:20 am)

    I’m truly saddened by the lack of compassion expressed in some of the comments on this thread. Further, I just don’t understand how some individuals can jump to conclusions about the woman who died–who she was, how she lived her life, her past, etc. without any facts or knowing her. What causes some people to be so ignorant and and also so uncaring about their fellow human beings?

  • whaletailgirl May 6, 2009 (11:40 am)

    My understanding of how so many of you can be so callous towards this women’s death is that more than likely, in your own immediate family or extended family, people like this women exist or have existed, and perhaps you haven’t yet dealt with your own feelings towards the situation. . .maybe you should get a grip and get some counseling? And those of you who have children, do you really want to pass on these hateful feelings towards your fellow humans just because you refuse to deal with your own past of feeling ashamed, left behind, etc.? How many of you have alcoholics, drug addicts, homeless in your family, a brother, father, mother? Think about it people and have a little compassion here.

  • DB23 May 6, 2009 (1:49 pm)

    ***ROUND OF APPLAUSE*** for all the comments that have come since my last one! I feel a little better now about my neighbors! :-)

  • charlabob May 6, 2009 (2:24 pm)

    Another round of applause from this corner; I stopped reading after the first few comments; good to come back and see the human beings (people cursed with empathy) are back. :-)

    BTW, I definitely empathize with folks who don’t want needles in their back yard — fix that, don’t attribute it to a faceless group of people. The junkies might be your neighbor’s teenaged daughter — or your neighbor.

  • Alcina May 6, 2009 (4:31 pm)

    I just found this posted on the thread about this story and uncaring comments on White Center Now
    “….I knew her. If they knew she had 3 back to back seizures right before her death, what would they say then? Her signifigant other and sister are devistated and I hope they never see what was written by some of those commentors. Some people can be cruel.”

  • sheila May 24, 2009 (8:46 pm)

    i have known terri for 35 years or more i helped bring her kids into this world. we ran togther for years partied togegther lived in the same house. our kids grow up together. i read you all writing things like she was homeless. but not one of you all knew the real terri like i did. her heart was full of love. it was hard for her to settle down and raise her kids she did work hard for years. when you lose the love of your life because you can’t live together and you hurt each other. you can do things to make your-self like drinking,drugs,whatever it takes to forget.she wasn’t a “bad person” and to those that left her there at safeway there is hospital in west seattle that was just _ucking worng we miss her and for her kids to read things people say that don’t know her is b.s. to the kids be stronge and i love you all.

Sorry, comment time is over.