Body suspected to be that of missing 89-year-old Everett woman found in car

EVERETT -- A body suspected to be that of missing 89-year-old Ethel O'Neil of Everett was found inside her car in bushes off of 12th Street NE in Lake Stevens, police announced Tuesday.

At about 3:15 p.m. the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office’s helicopter rescue team found the 1987 Chevy Nova belonging to O’Neil, who has been missing since July 16, police said.  The vehicle was located in bushes off the 13400 block of 12th St NE in Lake Stevens.

"The flight crew investigated and found the occupant inside the vehicle to be deceased," Everett police and the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said in a joint news release.  "At this time, there is no identity of the occupant. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office will take custody of the body to make identification and notify family as well as establish cause and manner of death."

The Everett Herald said police detectives don't suspect foul play at this point.


Even at 89, Ethel O’Neil is a fiercely independent woman.

She drove herself everywhere, but family members say it is not in her nature to go this long without talking to them.

"It's been really bad because it's that not knowing. You never think it's going to happen to you and then when it does you really don't know what to do,” O’Neil’s son Patrick O’Neil said.

She was driving her steel blue 1987 Chevy Nova with Washington license plate ADP - 6803.

She was last seen in Marysville asking for directions near the corner of 88th Place Northeast and 67th Avenue Northeast.

Earlier that same day she was caught on surveillance video picking up a prescription at the Everett Walgreens on Evergreen Way.

Family and friends have posted fliers all over the area but so far no one has come forward with information.

"We want her found and we think the way we do that is by finding that car,” O’Neil’s Daughter-N-Law Nancy O’Neil said.

With no leads on what might have happened to her, her family turned social media to spread the word about her disappearance.

"It was a great way of getting the flier out there, getting people to recognize her face to get her face out there, granddaughter Katy O’Neil said.

All the family can do now is wait and pray for her safe return.

"We've tried everything we can think of and its turned up nothing,” Patrick O’Neil said.