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

October 25, 2010 at 1:10 PM

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Body pulled from water was Seattle woman

Posted by John de Leon

From Times staff reporter Christine Clarridge:

Authorities have confirmed that a body pulled from the water near the Ballard Bridge on Friday was that of 33-year-old Lia Hawkins, who was reported missing on Thursday.

Hawkins was last seen around 11 a.m. Thursday 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.

Seattle police divers searched the area west of the bridge on Thursday with no success. When they returned on Friday they found the woman's body under a pier next to the ship.

Our news partners at Three Sheets Northwest say Hawkins' death has been ruled an accident. The King County Medical Examiner's Office said she died of a skull fracture and drowning after falling from an elevated surface into the water, according to Three Sheets Northwest.

Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson tells Three Sheets Northwest there were no obvious signs of trauma that would suggest Hawkins was a victim of foul play.

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