A woman whose body was found submerged in an irrigation canal near the Harman Senior Center in Yakima on Thursday died from drowning, Yakima County Coroner Jack Hawkins said.
Hawkins identified the woman as 62-year-old Velarie Winnier and said an autopsy showed no signs of trauma or defensive wounds from an attack.
“There’s no evidence of foul play at this point,” he said.
Hawkins said Winnier lived a few blocks away on Lincoln Avenue and was known to walk in the area.
She was last seen about 4 p.m. Wednesday, Hawkins said. Police reported ditchriders worked the area earlier Wednesday and had seen nothing amiss.
Toxicology and other forensic testing that may shed more light on what happened is pending, Hawkins said.
Winnier’s body was discovered lodged against a grate Thursday morning by ditchriders clearing debris. Her body was recovered about two hours later by firefighters wearing cold-water rescue suits.
Police, meanwhile, scoured the area for evidence and witnesses. The location was about 100 feet from the Harman Center in the 6400 block of Summitview Avenue.
This report has been updated to correct the spelling of Velarie Winnier’s first name.