News

Update on Maria Massey case

The investigation continues on the death of an Orcas Island woman, who was discovered on Nov. 22 after she was reported missing the day before.

Maria Massey, 26, of Deer Harbor, went missing in the early morning hours of Nov. 21 after her vehicle was found crashed into a tree in the 2600 block of Crow Valley Road. She was not found at the site of the accident.

Massey, according to the Sheriff’s Department, had reportedly left her house sometime around midnight and had not been seen or heard from since.

The Orcas Island Fire Department organized a search party on Nov. 21 and 22. Her body was found at 9:05 a.m., four-tenths of mile from the scene of the wreck, close to a pump house in a wooded area near the edge of the forest close to the 2300 block of Crow Valley Road.

A completed autopsy showed she did not sustain injuries from the car accident that would have led to her death, according to County Coroner Randy Gaylord. A pending toxicology report could reveal more information.

“There is every indication that she died of exposure,” said Gaylord explaining that the weather was extremely cold at 35 degrees with steady rain and wind.

“We have no explanation to why she went off the road,” he added.

Gaylord said he can’t speculate as to why Massey ended up in a car wreck, but he did say that there are many possibilities including inattention, wildlife or a moment of tiredness.

Massey was active in the theater community on Orcas Island and was known for her beautiful voice.

An outpouring of loving messages have flooded Massey’s Facebook page with words like, “We will always remember you Maria!” and “I’ll miss you and your headstrong smile.”

A celebration of her life will be held on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 1 p.m. at the church hall of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 242 Main Street, Eastsound.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jul 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.