Son of author Debbie Macomber found dead — (Port Orchard Independent Reporter)

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Port Orchard Independent Reporter


Aug 11 2011

The body of Dale Macomber, the son of renowned Port Orchard author Debbie Macomber, was found in South Kitsap on Thursday morning, two days after a missing person report was filed.

“It’s looking like it is a suicide,” said Deputy Scott Wilson, public information officer for the sheriff’s office. “We haven’t found any evidence that it’s foul play.”

Dale Macomber, who was last seen around 4 p.m. Tuesday near the South Kitsap Fred Meyer, had recently threatened to commit suicide and had attempted it before, Wilson said.

But the official cause and manner of death will be determined once the coroner’s office receives toxicology results, which may take several weeks.

The search for Macomber began Tuesday around 4 p.m., after his wife, Laurie, reported him missing and told authorities he had threatened to commit suicide. She also said he had a bottle of Wellbutrin, an anti-depression medication that he could have overdosed on.

Macomber, 36, was a special education teacher at Franklin Pierce High School in Tacoma, and previously worked in the South Kitsap School District from 1999-2008 as a teacher and basketball coach at John Sedgwick Junior High School, where his wife teaches. He was a 1994 graduate of South Kitsap High School.

Deputies searched for him in the woods near Macomber’s Port Orchard-area home Tuesday night and Wednesday.

“We came back and reassessed the situation and brought the dogs out starting around 7 p.m. (Wednesday) night,” Wilson said, but the search was called off around midnight because the dogs were tired, and they had flushed out a bear that had been in the woods.

Deputies planned to resume the search around 9 a.m. Thursday, but started sooner when they received a call at 8:02 a.m. from the missing man’s brother, Ted Macomber, saying that he had found items belonging to Dale near a trail at the dead end of Harrison Road Southeast.

Within half an hour, searchers found the body 50 yards down the trail and 20 yards off in the brush.

The family had requested Tuesday that the sheriff’s office not release an initial missing person report to the media, but family members used Facebook to spread the message that Dale Macomber was “missing and in danger.”