Editor’s note: The Islands’ Sounder does not report on suicides unless it involves an additional crime or it occurs in a public place.
The following was submitted by the San Juan County Prosecutor’s Office.
On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 12, Geoffrey P. Berkowitz, age 26, was found dead in his car that was parked at the turnout in the 400 block of Crescent Beach Drive in Eastsound. Berkowitz is from Seattle and he had traveled to Orcas Island on Friday, Oct. 11.
Berkowitz was discovered at 8:30 a.m. by another person who had parked at the same turnout for a walk on the beach. Upon inspection, it was noticed that there was a sign on the window of Berkowitz’s car warning of carbon monoxide and urging someone to call 911.
The scene was investigated by the San Juan County Coroner and Sheriff’s Office. The Orcas Island Fire Department safely opened the vehicle and recorded high carbon monoxide levels.
Coroner Randall Gaylord has investigated the circumstances of the death and concluded that Berkowitz died of asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning and that the death was a suicide. Berkowitz is survived by his parents, Joel and Lynn Berkowitz of Goodyear, Arizona.