News

Dead man pulled from Bremerton waterfront was facing child porn charges

The Bremerton Police Department, along with the Bremerton Fire Department and personnel from the U.S. Navy, recovered the body of Belfair resident Frank Edward McDonald, 52, from the water near the Bremerton Marina after receiving a call at 11:18 this morning. Investigators say that initial indications are that the death was a suicide.

McDonald, who was an elected commissioner at Mason County Public Hospital District 2, appeared in Mason County Superior Court last Friday to face a charge of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He had been arrested the day before after detectives from the Mason County Sheriff's Office, the Seattle Police Department and the Squaxin Island Department of Public Safety served multiple search warrants at the same time in Belfair, where McDonald lived, and in Seattle where he worked at Seattle Public Utilities.

The case against McDonald began when a Washington State Internet Crimes Against Children detective received a “CyberTip” from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children, that a person living in Belfair, uploaded depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

A simultaneous service of multiple search warrants was then orchestrated in order for the prevention of any evidence that may be destroyed.  One team of detectives from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, the Seattle Police Department and the Squaxin Island Department of Public Safety served a warrant at McDonald’s residence in Belfair, confiscating computers, computer equipment, cellular devices and depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The second team of detectives from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office and the Seattle Police Department served two warrants at the McDonald's workplace and on his person in downtown Seattle. Cellular devices and computer equipment were confiscated and the suspect was arrested and transported to the Mason County Jail.

The Kitsap County Coroner’s Office worked with the Mason County Sheriff’s Office to notify McDonald's next of kin Tuesday. The Bremerton Police Department will continue its investigation of the circumstances, along with the Coroner’s Office.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Sep 12 edition online now. Browse the archives.