Updated: 9:45 a.m., Monday, April 24
A Camas teen missing since April 13, was found dead in his car over the weekend.
Camas Police reported Friday night that 16-year-old Cole Burbank’s 2010 Honda Accord had been found earlier that evening in a parking lot outside a Chehalis, Washington shopping center.
Inside the car, police said, was “a lone, deceased occupant, described as a young, adult male.”
Police said the body had been released to the Lewis County Coroner for positive identification.
Burbank’s friends and family confirmed over the weekend on social media that the Camas High School student was dead.
On Saturday, Camas High School (CHS) Principal Steve Marshall sent a letter to the CHS community regarding Burbank’s death.
“This is an enormous loss for our school and it is a loss that will have an impact on all of us, especially our students,” Marshall stated. “The Camas High School staff will work together to assist students, parents and each other during this difficult time.”
Burbank, a CHS junior and Running Start student at Clark College in Vancouver, had been missing since April 13.
In the week following Burbank’s disappearance, thousands of community members, friends and even strangers who said they were touched by the teen’s story, joined an online Facebook group dedicated to finding the teen. The volunteers organized searches throughout Washington and Oregon for any sign of the missing teenager or his car, plastered area storefronts with “Missing” flyers and helped start “meal trains” to bring homemade meals to Burbank’s parents, Matt and Michelle Burbank.
On Friday night, in a press release sent to media outlets, Camas Police Department officials thanked those concerned community members for their assistance, stating that police “would like to express their gratitude to the public for their concerns, volunteer search efforts and tips … also to the assisting agencies involved in this investigation; Chehalis Police Department, Vancouver Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.”
Marshall, the CHS principal, said support teams of psychologists and counselors are available at the Camas High campus today “to provide support and comfort as well as guidance in helping students process this tragedy.” He added that the support teams will remain “in the days ahead, if needed.”
The principal urged parents to reach out to CHS administrators or counselors if their student needed help coping with academic or personal issues. He listed several other resources, including the following:
Clark County 24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 800-626-8137
Clark County Teen Talk: 800-397-2428 or CCTeenTalk1@hotmail.com