Doctor unable to ID body in Forks fire

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

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FORKS — A doctor was unable during an autopsy Thursday to identify a man found dead in a trailer that burned early Wednesday morning on Palmer Road off Calawah Way, authorities said.

“There’s not enough for a doctor to ID to sign a death certificate, so that means there’s no ID yet,” Undersheriff Ron Peregrin said Thursday while the autopsy was being conducted in Port Angeles.

The identity of the body will be determined by a DNA test or possible comparison of fingerprints, Peregrin said.

Preliminary results of an investigation into the fire have revealed nothing suspicious about the blaze.

“At that initial blush, it appears not as a result of any criminal activity,” Peregrin said.

“It’s an old place with wiring and whatever, and it looks like it may have been something associated with that.

“It’s not possible to determine. There’s a lot of stuff we have to sift through.”

Owner unaccounted for

The owner of the trailer, Michael W. Schulze, 54, a self-employed mechanic, remains unaccounted for after family members were questioned.

“They saw him the day before” the fire, West End Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian King said Thursday.

To get information, the department is trying to find anyone associated with the residence, Peregrin said, adding that people should phone 360-417-2459 if they know of Schulze’s whereabouts.

Authorities had said Wednesday that they had been told Schulze’s vehicle was not parked at the mobile home.

But several vehicles were parked there that Schulze worked on, said King, who has known Schulze since the mid-1990s.

“There is nothing for us to believe his vehicle is unaccounted for,” King said.

“The family has pointed out the car he had recently been driving, and it is there.”

Officers have talked to his sister, Patty Adams, who lived on the property, and Schulze’s son, Matthew Schulze.

“Certainly Michael is unaccounted for,” King said.

County Fire District No. 1 firefighters found the body outside the bedroom of the mobile home and believe the fire’s origin was in the living room, King said.

The fire district initially had identified the address as 853 Palmer Road.

That’s the residence of Patty Adams, who called in the fire, King said.

The burned-out trailer was at 831 Palmer Road, he said.

The two lived in separate dwellings on family property, King said.


Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at

Last modified: December 20. 2012 5:47PM
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