Loren Krenelka of Winlock hadn’t seen his friendly but reclusive neighbor of 20 years for several weeks, so he decided to contact the sheriff to file a missing persons report. The neighbor’s car was gone, he informed the sheriff. It was out of character for the man to be away that long.

The sheriff’s office informed him that his neighbor, James Vernon Casher Jr., had several weeks earlier driven himself in his Cadillac to Providence Centralia Hospital where, three days later, on Monday, April 18, he had died. Casher was 63 years old.