Clark County Medical Examiner seeks help identifying fire victim

The victim was one of two people killed in a Sept. 1 fire in the Sifton area

VANCOUVER — The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office is asking the public for help identifying one of two people who died Sept. 1 during a fire at a home on NE 149th Court in East Vancouver.

The body of 46-year-old Wanda M. Francis was positively identified, though the cause of death remains listed as pending.

A photo of John E. Kovac, PhD, circa 2005. Photo courtesy Clark County Medical Examiner's Office
A photo of John E. Kovac, PhD, circa 2005. Photo courtesy Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office

The Medical Examiner has been unable to verify the identity of the second victim, though he is thought to be John E. Kovac, PhD, 83.

They are looking for a dentist who may have records of Kovac, or family members who may be able to identify his remains.

Kovac is reported to have been a professor of Political Science at McKendree University in Illinois, until moving to the Portland area in the mid 1980s.

A photo of John E. Kovac, PhD, circa 1980. Photo courtesy Clark County Medical Examiner's Office
A photo of John E. Kovac, PhD, circa 1980. Photo courtesy Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office

He worked at a university in the Portland area.

Kovac reportedly has a son, David, as well as a daughter, Laura, from his time in Illinois. 

Anyone with information about John E. Kovac is asked to send an email to: medical.examiner@clark.wa.gov

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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