Missing man's death ruled a suicide | Update

Paul Breeding - Courtesy photo
Paul Breeding
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Searchers found the body of Paul E. Breeding, a 65-year-old man missing since last Wednesday morning, on Sunday afternoon in thick brush behind his South Kitsap home. The Kitsap County coroner determined that he died of a self-inflicted wound, according to Deputy Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's Lt. John Sprague said Breeding's body was found about 3:20 p.m. Sunday a short distance behind his home, which is on a cul-de-sac at the end of High Ridge Court SE, about half a mile west of Bethel-Burley Road.

Searchers had shifted their focus Friday to the area around Bethel-Burley Road and Holman Road after two people reported seeing Breeding walking there Wednesday morning.

But when nothing was found in that area, a group with Washington Explorers Search and Rescue, Kitsap Unit, returned Sunday to the woods behind Breeding's home, where the initial search was focused after he was reported missing last Wednesday night.

Breeding was last seen by his wife at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday as he prepared to leave their home in the 1100 block of SE High Ridge Court. He was headed for a class he was taking in Bremerton.

Breeding's wife, Sharon, left their home that morning and returned at 2:45 pm to find that her husband's vehicle had never left the garage. His lunch sack and wallet were in the car in the garage, and his keys were inside the house, signaling that he had never left for the class, Sharon Breeding said. She looked around the house, but he was nowhere to be found.

Nothing was missing from the house, she said Thursday.

"We don't have a clue. It's like he just disappeared," she said.

So far there is nothing to indicate why Breeding didn't leave for his class and instead wound up walking into the woods.

A retired Marine, he was a happy, stable person, his wife said. He did have an aortic valve replacement last year, and took  medicine for his heart. She said her husband is an avid walker, sometimes walking around the neighborhood two or three times a day.

Breeding was not reported to be despondent or have any other mental health issues, although he reportedly had been feeling frustrated over some health issues, such as becoming fatigued easily and sometimes feeling nauseous.

Sharon Breeding said they had plans to travel to Eastern Washington this weekend, and her husband had scheduled a meeting with a tax advisor on Monday.


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