ILWACO — The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has identified skeletal remains found more than three decades ago as Sandy Morden, who went missing in 1977 when she was about 15 years old.

The sheriff’s cold case unit is asking for any information the public may have on Andrew Bain Morden, Sandy Morden’s father, who died on July 27, 1999, in Ilwaco. Morden is not a suspect, but the office is attempting to locate friends and associates. 

The unsolved case began in 1980 with the discovery of human remains along Fly Creek near Amboy, Washington, according to a news release sent out by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

In 2019, DNA and genealogy investigations along with the help of Sandy Morden’s family allowed sheriff’s detectives to identify her remains, according to the release.

Sandy Morden’s parents were Andrew Bain Morden and Kathryn Irene Morden, and the family came from the San Francisco Bay area.

The family moved to Portland, Oregon where Andrew worked in the maritime trade on tugboats servicing pulp, paper and logging interests on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. The couple divorced in the early 1970s and Andrew got custody of Sandy.

Kathryn Irene Morden lived separately from her daughter for the remainder of their lives and died in 1988.

Andrew and Sandy lived in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, where Sandy went to school and Andrew worked as an inland boatman for mills operated by Crown Zellerbach, James River and Weyerhaeuser. Sandy disappeared sometime after May 1977. Andrew was never able to locate her. He retired from the maritime trades and moved to Ilwaco. He was a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War era and was a member of the VFW of Chinook and was active in the Oddfellows Lodge of Ilwaco, according to his obituary.

Clark County Sheriff’s detectives would like to hear from friends, acquaintances, neighbors, coworkers and fellow veterans of Andy, particularly those who interacted with him after 1970. Persons with information are urged to contact Detective Lindsay Schultz by email at Lindsay.Schultz@clark.wa.gov or by phone at 360-397-2036.

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