LAKE STEVENS, Wash., September 2, 2022– A Lake Stevens scrapyard worker was shocked to find the abandoned truck he purchased contained the body of a deceased male and $60,000 in cash.
Michael Smith, an employee of Braven Metals in Lake Stevens, purchased a Ford Explorer truck from Shannon Towing around 3 p.m. on Thursday, August 4 ,and brought the vehicle back to his place of employment to be recycled. Another employee at the scrapyard, Travis Fey, was removing the vehicle’s plates when he noticed an Apple computer box in the backseat. He broke the backseat window to gain access inside (there were no keys available for the vehicle) and immediately noticed the head of a male who appeared to be deceased. He called 911 shortly after.
Lake Stevens Sergeant Michael Hingtgen and Officer Chris Schedler responded to the scene at approximately 4:00 p.m. The two law enforcement agents immediately noticed a distinguishing odor of “death” emanating from the vehicle, based on their experience, and noticed a deceased white male with a bald head and goatee, laying lengthwise in the backseat in a sleeping bag with his head and one hand exposed. It appeared the subject had been deceased for months and had also been living in his vehicle based on the food, garbage, and assorted items found within. Among these items were 14 envelopes of cash totaling $60,195.
This man would later be identified as Steven Dean Feil, 61, who’s last known address was in Seattle. Feil’s vehicle, located near 12100 Woodinville Drive in Bothell, had been marked abandoned after several attempts at contacting the owner back in June. It was towed by Shannon Towing in Lynnwood a month later, at the request of the Bothell Police Department, where it was impounded before being sent to auction a month after that.
None of the involved parties had any idea that Feil’s body was inside.
Detective Bernhard was called in to investigate, along with Snohomish County Medical Examiner Emma Rodriguez who could not identify any indication of foul play. There was no obvious sign of disturbance or anything suspicious and it appeared Feil had fallen asleep in the backseat of the truck and experienced a medical emergency in his sleep.
Feil’s computer, notebooks, and cash were placed into evidence for safekeeping with the cash released to next of kin.