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The Times' criminal justice team looks behind the scenes and behind the headlines.

October 22, 2010 at 10:15 AM

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UPDATE: Body recovered near Ballard Bridge

Posted by John de Leon


Lia Hawkins

-- From Times staff reporter Christine Clarridge:

UPDATE at 12:47 p.m.: Seattle police say a body discovered by divers matches the general description of the woman who disappeared Thursday from a ship at a Seattle boatyard, The Associated Press is reporting.

Police spokesman Mark Jamieson says police divers discovered the woman's body Friday under a pier next to the ship. The official identification and determination on the cause of death will come from the King County Medical Examiner's Office.

UPDATE at 12:01 p.m. Seattle police say that a body was recovered at 11:30 a.m. near the area where they were searching for Lia Hawkins. The identity of the body has not been confirmed.

ORIGINAL POST: Seattle police are investigating the disappearance of a 33-year-old woman sometime around 11 a.m. on Thursday west of the Ballard Bridge.

Lia Hawkins, 5-feet-2 with blond hair, was last seen wearing coveralls as she headed to work aboard the 303-foot M/V Sahara.

Alaina Perez, a friend, said Hawkins was a business manager on the vessel, a former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ship that is in the process of being converted to a yacht.

She said relatives and friends believe that Hawkins may have fallen in the water, but also fear that she may have met with foul play. They are asking that the community keep their eyes out for the missing woman.

Perez said police divers searched the area on Thursday with no success and were preparing to launch another, more extensive, effort on Friday. Hawkins left behind her car, her keys and her purse, Perez said.

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