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Missing St. Helens woman identified after body discovered in Woodland, Wash.

The body of Lynn Saephan Paan was identified by the Cowlitz County Medical Examiner this week after her body was discovered on the banks of the Columbia River on July 20.
The body of Lynn Saephan Paan was identified by the Cowlitz County Medical Examiner this week after her body was discovered on the banks of the Columbia River on July 20.Photo courtesy of the St. Helens Polic Department

The St. Helens Police announced on Aug. 7, 2014 that the Cowlitz County Medical Examiner’s office has identified a body found on the bank of the Columbia River near Woodland, Wash., as a St. Helens resident who had been missing for quite some time, according to a news release issued by St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss.

The body of Lynn M. Paan-Saephan, 29, was first discovered on the banks of the Columbia River near Woodland, Wash., on July 20. Cowlitz County Sheriff’s deputies told media that the body was badly decomposed and because of that, they were unable to determine the gender and age of the individual at first glance.

That job was given to the Cowlitz County Medical Examiner’s office and Dr. Timothy J. Davidson. Dr. Davidson performed an autopsy on the victim and declared that the cause of death was drowning, but the manner of death is undetermined. A definite decision on the manner of death for this young woman is pending further investigation. According to the St. Helens Police Department’s news release, Dr. Davidson found no signs of trauma or violence during the autopsy.

Through the comparison of dental records, the victim in this case has been identified as Lynn M. Paan-Saephan, who was named a missing person from the St. Helens area by the St. Helens Police Department in January 23, 2013.

Since Paan-Saephan’s disappearance in 2013, there have been few leads. According to media reports, the St. Helens Police listed her as “at-risk” because she had a history of mental illness and reportedly left with only the clothes she was wearing.

This is a developing story and more information will be reported as it becomes available.