Man Who Died Near Booby Trapped Campsite in Southwest Washington Identified


A man who was found dead inside a tent surrounded by trip wires and explosives Monday near Cougar was identified as 52-year-old Shane Beech of Battle Ground.

The Clark County Medical Examiner's Office said Beech's cause and manner of death are pending.

Clark County sheriff's deputies responded at 8:10 a.m. to a call for suspicious circumstances east of Chelatchie, off Forest Service Road 54. A woman flagged down a passing vehicle. She said she needed help for her boyfriend because he was unresponsive and possibly dead at their campsite, according to the sheriff's office. The driver called 911.

The woman led deputies to the campsite. She told them her boyfriend had possibly been setting up trip wires and traps around their tent the day before, a sheriff's office news release stated.

As they approached, deputies saw what they believed to be an improvised explosive device near the tent. Crews from the Metropolitan Explosive Disposal Unit, SWAT and Tactical Emergency Medical Support also responded to the area, the sheriff's office said.

An explosive disposal unit robot helped investigators determine Beech was dead inside the tent. The unit spent several hours clearing suspicious devices from the tent and surrounding area to allow deputies and personnel from the medical examiner's office inside, according to the news release.

Investigators secured the campsite overnight and continued to check the area for additional explosive devices.

Officials are continuing to investigate.