August 7 Death Investigation

Statement from Chief Roberts

The recent death of Yvonne McDonald on Aug. 7 has raised many concerns and questions in the community.  When a member of our community dies under suspicious circumstances, it leaves us all shaken and understandably in need of answers.

While we continue to wait for answers on the important question of just what happened to Ms. McDonald, please know that the Olympia Police Department is committed to sharing all confirmed information that we can appropriately share.  However, there is currently much that we do not know and cannot know yet.  There is also information that we will not share out of respect for Ms. McDonald’s family and her personal and medical privacy.

Olympia Police Detectives have been assigned to this case and have been conducting an active and thorough investigation of Ms. McDonald’s death since the morning she was found. The detectives have been in communication with members of Ms. McDonald’s family since the beginning of the investigation and have kept them updated on its status. 

Crucial questions about the circumstances of Ms. McDonald’s death may only be answered by information from the Coroner. The Thurston County Coroner’s Office did conduct an autopsy and the results are pending.  However, the toxicology results are expected to take months to return. The Coroner has not yet determined the cause of death.  The Police do not and cannot rule on causes of death.

The loss of Yvonne McDonald is painful and tragic for her family, her friends and the community.  We add to their pain and deepen the tragedy when we publicly speculate on the nature of her death and expose her personal life and medical information.  Like the community, the Olympia Police Department wants the certainty that answers to Ms. McDonald’s death would bring.  But those answers will only come with time.

Meanwhile, we ask for the community’s patience as the Coroner’s report processes and the investigation unfolds.  We ask for your help with information if anyone knows anything about this death. And we ask that we all respect the privacy of Ms. McDonald and her family as we seek the answers to her death.

-Chief Ronnie Roberts, Olympia Police Department

Know Something? Say Something

If you have any information that may be useful, please contact Detective Al Weinnig at 360.753.8300 or a aweinnig@ci.olympia.wa.us