Cause of death of missing East Bremerton woman may be slow in coming

The cause of death for the 19-year-old East Bremerton woman found in Illahee State Park Sunday, Kara Rabadah, could be determined anywhere between a few days and a few weeks, the Kitsap County Coroner's office reported Tuesday.

The remains were found by a canine search team just before 10 a.m. Sunday in a ravine in the north end of Illahee State Park, according to the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office. The search effort, which involved 33 volunteers and two canine teams, was the second ground search since Radabah was reported missing May 13.

The body was identified as Rabadah Monday using dental records, Kitsap County Coronor Greg Sandstrom said. It is being transfered to the King County Medical Examiner's office Tuesday to determine the cause of death and will be examined by forensic anthropologist Kathy Taylor.

The arrival of results will depend on what tests must be run by the Medical Examiner's office, Sandstrom said.

A spokesman for the Medical Examiner's office declined on Tuesday to say when the results may be returned.

The discovery of the remains was a surprise to law enforcement officers who had few leads on Rabadah's whereabouts in their investigation. They had not expected to find any new evidence at the park, where she was last seen at about 6 p.m. May 13.

"Our belief was we were still looking for a live Kara," Sheriff's spokesman Scott Wilson said. "It totally caught us out of left field. It was a surprise and a shock to all of us."

Radabah's family was notified of the discovery shortly after their arrival at the search team's command post Sunday. Family members identified clothing found at the scene as belonging to the 2009 Bremerton High School graduate.

No crime or foul play is suspected in Radabah's disappearance and death, Wilson said.

The Coroner's office on Monday reported the remains would hopefully be identified Tuesday and would then be examined by a forensic anthropologist to determine the cause of death.

The results of the tests may yield answers for a family that, in two-and-a-half months, could hardly begin to guess what happened. Radabah uncharacteristically disappeared in Illahee State Park near the family's home, where she was last seen.

Doctors told Radabah in April she had schizophreniform, a version of schizophrenia, and had recently stopped taking her medication, mother Cheryl Radabah said.

Twelve volunteers assisted in the first ground search for Rabadah in the park May 14, the day after her disappearance. A canine search team followed a track until Perry Avenue and Sylvan Way, leading searchers to believe Rabadah was not still at the park, Wilson said.

But Sunday, almost triple the volunteers convened again at the park, "just to be 100 percent certain," Wilson said.

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