About the death investigation at long-vacant North Delridge house

We’ve received several questions about a death investigation at the long-vacant house on the northeast end of Delridge Way, officially 3804 23rd SW (Assessor’s Office photo at right). Police and the Medical Examiner’s Office were there yesterday; when we checked then, SPD’s report wasn’t in, but they were able to tell us that the incident had not been referred to homicide detectives. After more questions today, we checked again, and this time a few details were available – “The report type is listed as death/accidental. A worker found the deceased person on the property. Signs point to a non-criminal manner of death.” Final determination of the cause of death, and identification of the person, is up to the ME. The house has long been considered a nuisance property; city records show that the most recent redevelopment proposal, a townhouse project, went idle in 2019. More recently, city files show complaints about the failing retaining wall dating back to July, and a recent permit application from the Renton-based property owner – who bought the site in 2018 – to fix it.

14 Replies to "About the death investigation at long-vacant North Delridge house"

  • WSBiker December 28, 2022 (3:35 pm)

    I wish the structure had been torn down when the improvement work described in the link below was completed last summer. This is sad news.


  • Jay December 28, 2022 (3:42 pm)

    Abandoned for more than a decade… I wish the city would use eminent domain on properties like this.

    • Pete December 28, 2022 (4:16 pm)

      Jay that property has been abandoned for over 20 years. I have lost track of how many complaints I have registered with the city over the years. 

    • ARPigeonPoint December 28, 2022 (4:43 pm)

      I suspect the owner is waiting for sdot to do just that (light rail). 

    • ACG December 28, 2022 (4:53 pm)

      Or require the owner to tear down the derelict building while they are developing plans/permitting for the property. 

  • bill December 28, 2022 (6:16 pm)

    Sound Transit, not SDOT, will almost certainly acquire the property. Building new housing on the site makes no sense now. But that does not absolve the owner from maintaining the property, particularly when the hillside threatens a major arterial out of West Seattle. For those of you who can’t flog CM Herbold enough, she lit a fire under code enforcement after my complaint about the retaining wall initially drew a yawn from the city. Work on the wall started less than a week after my email to her.

  • Wsgal December 29, 2022 (7:26 am)

    The owner is probably waiting for the property to be deemed commercial, before being acquired for light rail, no question it will be on the route. 

  • Rhonda December 29, 2022 (4:30 pm)

    Sad that all the comments are about the property, Sound Transit, taxation, the retaining wall, and zoning instead of the poor person who passed away there.

    • c December 29, 2022 (6:05 pm)

      Those were exactly my thoughts this morning when I first read this. Thank you for saying it. Isn’t a human life more worthy of thought and discussion? How desensitized have we become? Disheartening!

    • bill December 29, 2022 (9:39 pm)

      The derelict property threatens everyone who uses that part of Delridge. Talking about it is appropriate. We know nothing about the person who was found dead there. If some information is made public we can discuss the person and their fate then. Death is a tragic part of life but we must remember the living are more important. 

      • Scarlett December 31, 2022 (9:58 am)

        What other truisms do you have for us, Bill –   water is wet, the Pope is Catholic?    Yes, we know that death is a certainty, but the story was about a tragic death in a derelic house – not a derelict house where there just happened to be a tragic death.   It’s a matter of taste, Bill, like acknowledging someone died before launching into the snoopy, neighborhood  vigilante routine.  

    • WestSeattleBadTakes December 30, 2022 (10:38 am)

      Honoring a person can and should include discussing ways to prevent such tragedies. Tots and pears isn’t helping anyone.

      So many, like yourself as evidenced here often, are not concerned with fixing anything. But instead pretend as if nothing can be done, I find your approach to these topics more disrespectful to these individuals.

      • Rhonda December 30, 2022 (2:55 pm)

        If it were you who tragically passed away in a newsworthy manner, I would hope your family and loved ones could read comments of condolences instead of complaints over municipal policies.

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