Soldier found dead in Capitol Forest has uncle missing in Oso slide

Staff writerApril 15, 2014 

Missing JBLM soldier, Chris Dombroski.

PHOTO COURTESY OF JBLM.

Thurston County search and rescue crews have found the body of a JBLM soldier who went missing in Capitol Forest Sunday night.

Chris Dombroski, 20, was found dead about 10 a.m. Tuesday, in an area of Capitol Peak near where his motorcycle had been found just hours earlier.

"It's not suspicious," Thurston County Sheriff's Lt. Greg Elwin said of the soldier's death. Elwin added that the evidence at the scene suggests Dombroski suffered a "traumatic, non-accidental death," but he would not elaborate further.

"There's no indication anyone else did this," Elwin added.

The investigation into Dombroski's death will be turned over to the Grays Harbor County Sheriff's Office, because his body was found in Grays Harbor County, Elwin added.

The coroner in Grays Harbor County will conduct an autopsy.

Dombroski has an uncle and an aunt who are missing in the Oso mudslide, an Everett Herald reporter confirmed Tuesday. The Everett Herald reporter said she has spoken recently with the sister of missing Oso victim Steve Harris, and she confirmed Dombroski is her son. The Everett Herald reporter said she had this conversation before Dombroski went missing.

Spc. Dombroski was a Stryker systems maintainer. He is originally from Wasilla, Alaska. According to a JBLM spokesman, Dombroski entered military service in August 2011. He served on one overseas deployment to Afghanistan from Nov. 2012 to July 2013 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Dombroski's awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Medal, NATO Medal, and Army Service Ribbon.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Spc. Dombroski's family and friends during this time of loss," said Lt. Col. Joseph Sowers, 7th Inf. Div. Public Affairs Officer. "We'd like to thank Thurston County search and rescue crew and Grays Harbor authorities for their efforts. Our focus now is on supporting the survivors who have lost their beloved son, friend and teammate."

Members of Dombroski's unit, and aviation helped in the two-day search for Dombroski, who went missing on a weekend hiking trip. He was last heard from about 8:30 p.m. Sunday night.

Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445; jpawloski@theolympian.com

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