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"Police discover body, seek clues"

"Federal Way police are investigating the cause of death of a man whose body was found Tuesday in the driveway to Palisades Retreat.The site where the body was discovered, about 100 yards north of Southwest Dash Point Road, is being investigated as a crime scene. That will ensure evidence is collected if the medical examiner rules the man died of homicide, police spokesman Brett Hatfield said. Hatfield said Tuesday afternoon he didn't know who initially called police to the scene or the cause of death of the man, who appears to be in his 20s. It's too early, he said. The detectives are just beginning their jobs. It usually can take several hours at a scene like that. We're in a holding pattern.If the medical examiner determines the man was murdered, it would be the seventh Federal Way homicide this year. In all six cases so far, officers arrested the suspected murderers. If this recent case is a homicide, Hatfield said neighbors need not unnecessarily worry about safety in their wooded neighborhood. I don't know any reason for neighbors to be alarmed, he said. I don't anticipate any kind of trend. I don't believe (the found body) is any type of bellwether on the type of neighborhood that is.Neighbors learned of the discovery from officers going door to door Tuesday morning seeking people who heard something that might give them a clue of what happened. Pearl Edwards, who lives near the retreat, spoke to reporters 15 minutes after learning a body had been found on the other side of her backyard fence. She said she was shocked a body was found near her quiet neighborhood of retirees and young and middle-age couples. At 1 p.m. on Tuesday, police hadn't determined whether a crime had been committed. But the find troubled Edwards, nonetheless, who fondly recalled a former home in the Midwest where people never locked their doors.It's very disconcerting to think that we're living in a generation of time when it's happening all around you, said Edwards, who's lived in her home 45 years. It's bad enough when you hear about it in the big city.Edwards' next-door-neighbor, Laureen Walker, says the driveway into the Palisades Retreat is a little-traveled road that makes for a beautiful, wooded walk. That private location might appeal to somebody wanting to dispose of someone. Besides not knowing if the man was murdered, officers also aren't certain yet if he was left there by somebody or wandered there himself, Hatfield said.Walker says she'll advise neighbors who walk on the driveway to be cautious, but she believes the police's find speaks more to the crime problem in general than her neighborhood in particular.I guess stuff happens these days. Always has, maybe, she said. I don't see this as a real threat to the community. It's just one of those by chance (incidents). We might find out differently. Right now, that's the way I'm looking at it.After the police officer left her home Tuesday morning, Walker called her daughter to tell her how close to home troubling events can occur.I said, 'Guess what? Worry about Jerusalem,' she said. She said, 'Mom what are you talking about?' I said, 'They discovered a body.' "

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