Identity confirmed of man whose body was found in Columbia River two years ago

Pierre Pearson
Pierre Pearson

A forensic odontologist made the comparison, and the subject was positively identified as Pierre Pearson

The Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office has confirmed the identity of a man whose body was recovered from the Columbia River near Woodland two years ago.

On June 2, 2022, two fishermen on the Columbia River located a deceased subject near Martin’s Bar in Woodland. The body was recovered by deputies and detectives from the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office. The body appeared to be that of an adult male, and there was no identification located. An examination of the body by the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office showed no signs of trauma. Due to the level of decomposition, facial identification and fingerprints were not available. 

In December of 2022, detectives began working with Othram, a private DNA lab that specializes in advanced forensic DNA testing. Using Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® and genetic genealogy, they were able to identify potential family members for the unidentified subject. Detectives were able to work with the Othram genealogist and family members to construct a family tree and identify a possible match. 

After contacting the subject’s stepmother and father, dental records were obtained for the subject by the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office. A forensic odontologist made the comparison, and the subject was positively identified as Pierre Pearson.

Pearson was originally from Georgia and had been identified as being transient in Portland prior to his death. He last contacted family in April of 2021. Pearson was 34 years old when his body was found. There is no indication that Pearson died as a result of a crime and the investigation will be closed. 

The Coroner’s Office will work with the family to turn over Pearson’s remains.

Information provided by the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office. 

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