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UPDATED: Body of man found on Key Peninsula being investigated as homicide

Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on July 13, 2012 at 5:58 am with 14 Comments »
July 13, 2012 2:00 pm

UPDATE: The victim has been identified as Leon Dwayne Baucham Jr., 33, of Puyallup, according to the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the torso and the manner was homicide, examiners said.


Deputies are investigating a suspected homicide after a man’s body was found in the ditch of a road on the Key Peninsula in unincorporated Pierce County last night, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

A couple found the body in the wetlands area to the side of the road in the 14900 block of 82nd Avenue Northwest when they were walking their dog about 8 p.m. Thursday, Troyer said. An earlier address was given, but later corrected.

Deputies are investigating the death as a homicide.

“On top of the trauma to the body, there are signs that it was a homicide,” Troyer said.

He added that deputies have tentatively identified the man as a 36-year-old from East Pierce County.

They are not yet sure how long the body had been in the wetlands area.

This is a developing story. Check back for more details throughout the day.

Jim Nordseth, a 30-year Key Peninsula resident, looks over the trampled brush left behind by investigators Friday morning, July 13th, 2012, at the scene of a suspicious death investigation where the discovery of a male victim on the Key Peninsula was made late Thursday night on July 12th, 2012. The body was found dumped along the east shoulder of a rural roadway in the 14900 block of 82nd Avenue Northwest on the Key Peninsula. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department is investigating. Nordseth was near the crime scene to work as a tree service worker and stopped by the scene to see what was happening. "There's a lot of meth that goes on, and we don't have a lot of law enforcement out here. It seems like the county (Pierce) should have more deputies. The ones that are here are overworked. It's not the deputies' fault, they can only do so much," Nordseth said of the incident Friday.

LEE GILES III/Staff photographer

Leave a comment Comments → 14
  1. AntiMisRE says:

    Start looking across the Kitsap county border. Over the years several bodies have been dumped by Kitsap criminals into Pierce County.

  2. littleopinion says:

    The ghetto needs to get out of Gig!!!! Things like this should never happen in such a small, quiet, clean community! I live there for a reason, I want to feel safe.

  3. AntiMisRE, are you saying the Kitsap County Sheriff’s department did this?

  4. northwestchick says:

    Bodies have been dumped all over the state of Washington because of all of the remote locations. Some still have not been ID’ed. Also a lot of people have had accidental deaths in the forests with no ID. You can look up Washington State on this website, it will show you all of the unidentified and missing persons in Washington.

  5. SnugLife says:

    “The ghetto needs to get out of Gig!!!!” Wow, really? Also, things like this should never happen, anywhere, not just in your community.

  6. peripheralvisionary says:

    In the second sentence of the article, it should say the “manner” of death was homicide, not “manor”. A manor is a large house on an estate, in this case, manner would refer to a way of doing, being done, or happening; mode of action, occurrence, etc. It looks like you could use a good editor!

  7. catriley says:

    Umm. The City of Gig Harbor itself has a higher crime rate than the National average. And the unincorporated areas are just as bad or worse. It’s a false sense of security here, because we have nothing but a local weekly paper that rarely reports an crime, or a police blotter. The Trib occasionally puts something big on their Lights and Sirens, but there are tons of burglaries, thefts, assaults, etc., here, they just aren’t reported in the media. Look it up. It’s not what you think.

  8. To littleopionion and skippythedog.
    You both sound stupid. If I do recall, I think the chief of police for the city of tacoma, David Brame, killed his wife and then himself in your city ‘gig harbor’, “such a small, quiet, and clean community.”
    Also, even if he was a defendant, he was still someone’s son, brother, husband, or father.

  9. txgirl2202 says:

    most of you should be ashamed at the comments you have made! Leon is my best friend…he is not “ghetto”, had absolutely nothing to do with meth and even if he did have over 40 cases as skippy so loves to point out…everyone has a past! he was a warm, kind hearted, hard working man that loved his family and his friends, and those of us that really know him are having a hard time believing this happened and hope the people that did this are found!

  10. littlegreyrainclowd says:

    txgirl is right. I dont know Leon but from what i’ve personaly researched on this case he doesnt owe you the gratification of smashing his character! “skippy” your an ignorant FOOL yes there are 40 cases where Leon is the defendant-
    1. he is a Jr. they are not all his cases.
    2. traffic infractions make case #’s where you are the defendant
    3. liens make #’s where you are the defendant
    4. other things that i’m unaware of make #’s where you are the defendant
    None of these things make you deserve to be shot and dumped in a ditch like a piece of trash. None of these things make your family deserve to read the garbage that i’m reading here! Have some respect. How would you feel if this was your family/friend?

  11. sullibear says:

    stupid stupid stupid people I knew leon he did not do drugs very nice laid back friendly guy people should quit talking out of there ass

  12. nickeygrl2002 says:

    who cares if he had a bunch of felony cases for armed robbery and burg… what matters is no one deserves to end up in a ditch like this. Everyone has a past, just look at President Slick Willie.

  13. franktheliberal says:

    There are several reasons that I do not subscribe to the NT. (They dropped Tacoma a long time ago) I VERY Rarely visit the NT site. The main reason I don’t read the “comments” is because of the vomit whoever is supposed to keep and eye on the comment stream just lets stay there.When I saw the story on KIRO about the murder victim’s family being devastated by comments made about him I KNEW they must be referring to the NT site. I was right of course. What other “forum” would allow racist, toxic character assassination of a murder victim? The cowardly, toxic attacks perpetrated by “readers” hiding behind the anonymity of their “handles” hurt the victim’s family and leave a scab on Tacoma.
    I am a member of a grieving family. I thank GOD the NT lacked the common courtesy to write about OUR case because I wouldn’t stand for the “readers” sliming my family’s member’s memory. Thank GOD the NT never writes about our activism to change things for the better because we don’t want your readers squeezing the putrid pus out the festering, infected boil that is their minds in OUR direction.
    The editors of this publication can claim not wanting to encroach on free speech as the reason they allow toxic waste to devastate crime victims families like flatulence in a crowded room. Thank NT. ANOTHER job well done. Just remember that complacence is complicity.

  14. franktheliberal says:

    My condolences to Mr Baucham’s family. A little over two years ago, our daughter was killed by a drunk driver. We have some understanding of what you are going through. It’s an awful place and we send our thoughts and prayers to all of you. It seems as though the sun will never shine again. It will. It takes a long time. Bless you all.

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