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Body of missing Woodland resident Enrique Ramirez found

51-year-old believed to have died of natural causes while on a run near his home

Henry Ramirez
Henry Ramirez

WOODLAND — The body of missing Woodland resident Enrique “Henry’’ Ramirez was found Wednesday morning. The 51-year-old Ramirez apparently died of natural causes while on a run near his home.

“A little after 9 (a.m.) one of our search teams made a locate and found Mr. Ramirez deceased off the roadway a little ways,’’ said Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark S. Nelson, speaking at a press conference Wednesday afternoon near the location just off Frederickson Road where Ramirez was found.

“There’s no suspicion at this point; it appears to be natural causes,’’ Nelson said. “There weren’t any obvious injuries so at this point there is nothing for us to believe that there was anything that had occurred that was not natural. We will await results back from the coroner about cause and manner of death.’’

Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office officials began the search for Ramirez at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday after friends and family reported that he did not show up for an appointment earlier that morning. Friends of Ramirez went to his house and found his car, wallet and cell phone were still at his house.

Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark S. Nelson
Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark S. Nelson

A friend of Ramirez had visited with him Monday night and said that Ramirez told him he was going jogging in the morning. Ramirez frequently went on runs in the area around his house, which is in the 400 block of Frederickson Road, about seven miles east of Woodland.

“He was a regular runner,’’ Nelson said. “I talked to a fellow last night who had actually seen him (Ramirez) run from here up to the rock pit, which is a few miles all uphill. There were times he would do that a couple of times a day. He was trying to get in shape for hunting season, that is what our understanding was, that he was a regular runner along these routes.

This location at the end of the paved portion of Frederickson Road in Woodland is near where the body of 51-year-old Enrique Ramirez was found by searchers Wednesday morning. Ramirez is believed to have died of natural causes while on a run near his home. Photo by Mike Schultz
This location at the end of the paved portion of Frederickson Road in Woodland is near where the body of 51-year-old Enrique Ramirez was found by searchers Wednesday morning. Ramirez is believed to have died of natural causes while on a run near his home. Photo by Mike Schultz

“This is just one of those strange things that happens occasionally, it’s tragic,’’ Nelson said. “We certainly feel for the family and friends. He had a lot of close family and friends.’’

Nelson said after searchers failed to locate Ramirez Tuesday, that Wednesday’s search included five teams, a total of 20-25 searchers. K9s and drones were also utilized by the search teams.

Ramirez, who was described as being 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, was a principal in the Reynolds School District in Troutdale, Ore.

Reynolds School District released the following statement via their Facebook page:

“It is with deeply saddened hearts we have learned that Enrique ‘Henry’ Ramirez was recently found deceased. Henry was part of the Reynolds School District family as the previous Principal of Salish Ponds Elementary School and Assistant Principal of HB Lee Middle School, and the incoming Principal of Multnomah Learning Academy Middle School, a Reynolds School District charter school. We are currently mobilizing support services for staff and families to respond to their emotional needs surrounding this event. Our thoughts are with Henry’s family during this difficult time.”

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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