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March 23rd, 2006
Human Remains Found in State Park Confirmed to
Belong to Forks Chief of Police and Daughter
Human remains discovered Monday afternoon in the wooded area near Undi Road along the banks of the Bogachiel River in Bogachiel State Park have been confirmed by the Clallam County Coroner's Office to be those of missing Chief of Police Charles Swan and his daughter Isabella, says the Clallam County Sheriff's Office.
Dr. Carlisle Cullen, the acting Chief Medical Examiner, identified the remains late Tuesday afternoon as those of the Swans, both of which had been reported missing when the police chief did not report to the station on Monday morning.
Early investigations seem to point to animal activity—noting previously reported heightening of wolf attacks and sightings in the area.
The human remains were initially found by backpackers on Monday afternoon, across the river from an unoccupied tent at a campsite in the park, and the backpackers reported their discovery to local authorities, according to a news release from Bogachiel State Park. The campsite will remain closed until further notice, park officials added.
Clallam County Sheriff's Office spoke with Forks Forum on Tuesday and released the statement, "Chief Swan's service and dedication to his community were never questioned. He loved being the Forks Police Chief. Charlie and Isabella will be missed by so many that they have affected. Our department and community stand with the Swan family during this difficult time."
Joint Memorial Service arrangements are to be announced later this week. A candlelight vigil in memory of Charles and Isabella will be held Wednesday night at the Forks Assembly of God.
**Now Playing—No Dreams Breed in Breathless Sleep by Dissection**
The services took place on Saturday evening, just before the shade of twilight set in. The evening sun still filtered through the trees, casting long shadows over the ceremony.
We chose a place to hide far enough away that the smell of humans wouldn't be strong enough to spurn Bella's thirst. She didn't need to burn on top of what today brought.
We watched, her head laid on my shoulder, as Charlie Swan's last ride came to an end in Forks Cemetery, and the combined graveside service commenced. Hundreds attended the funeral of Charles and Isabella Swan. An urn, supposedly containing my Bella's ashes, sat on a table at the front of the service, surrounded by smiling pictures and funeral flowers.
I just couldn't do it; Renee had told Esme. I just couldn't put my baby girl in the cold ground.
We were all grateful that Carlisle had been able to take the role of medical examiner for this case; the lack of physical evidence of Bella's death would have otherwise presented problematic questions.
Only my family, and those attending from the Quileute pack, knew that the urn contained nothing more than fine sand.
Jacob was not in attendance, and the wolves seemed to block him from their thoughts.
Uniformed members of Charlie's department held Renee under her elbows, helping her to her chair. Her body shook with grief, but her mouth remained shut tight, her lips forming the same hard line that Bella's did when she was concentrating especially hard.
"Oh, Mom…" Bella choked, not even trying to stifle her sobs. "I wish…" she trailed off, her statement left unfinished.
"I know Bella… I know." She didn't have to complete the thought. The knowledge of everything I had done to cause this scene in her life was nearly smothering. I took a deep breath to combat its weight.
In the crowd, we saw almost everyone that we had known from school. Most were in black, and many of them were holding each other and crying.
"It surprises me, that they came," Bella said thoughtfully, her voice hushed. "I didn't know any of them very well."
Members of Charlie's police force spoke of his bravery, his sacrifice. Angela Weber spoke beautifully of Bella's kindness. Billy Black delivered a tearful eulogy, full of memories he had shared with his best friend.
One group of people stood out from the crowd—Carlisle, Esme, Alice, Jasper, Rose, and Emmett—all in light gray. They held themselves straighter than anyone else, and even from a distance, their skin was obviously different.
Esme hovered near Renee. She was apologizing for my absence, explaining that I'd been too distraught to come. This allowed me to be with Bella so that she didn't have to watch her and her father's funeral alone.
The constant, legato music of bagpipes began and was carried on the breeze to our perch in the towering red cedar. It played Amazing Grace, and those in attendance wept.
The Color Guard removed the US Flag from Charlie's casket as it lowered into the Earth, and began the ceremonial folding. The hallowed token was presented to Bella's mother, the closest thing to next of kin that Charlie Swan had remaining in this world.
I buried my face in Bella's mahogany hair. "I'm so sorry Bella. I never wanted this for you."
"This isn't your fault, Edward." She replied, still trying to comfort anyone but herself.
"The blame is not on you, love," I responded.
She simply nodded, and I was unconvinced. How many decades would it take me to shake Jacob's accusation from her mind?
The thoughts of the mourners were mostly the same, as they began departing the cemetery; thoughts of their own mortality, mostly. Save for one…
Renee's were different.
As the pallbearers handed her the folded flag, her thoughts were toned with more than sorrow.
I'll give this to the baby, one day.
I watched as the weeping woman's hands moved to cradled the small, nearly unnoticeable bump in her abdomen. I gasped.
"Bella…" I breathed. Hope. There was hope here.
"Bella… Renee…" I broke off, listening intently to the woman's thoughts. "Renee is expecting."
Bella's breath caught in her throat, and her hand flew up to cover her mouth.
I scanned Phil's mind, sitting to the left of Renee, for any thoughts of his impending fatherhood. There was nothing there except anguish.
"No one knows yet… Not even Phil."
Bella's eyes gazed wide and amazed at her mother.
"She's going to be okay then..." she whispered breathlessly. "Wow... I'll be a big sister..."
I could see the realization on her face, that she would never hold the baby that grew in Renee's womb, as it washed over her.
"It's okay though," she choked. "Mom can start over."
"That child will have everything it could ever need or want, Bella." I breathed, barely audible.
Bella was unaware of the massive sums that would soon be delivered to Renee, under the guise of life insurance policies, double indemnity, and supposed accidental death clauses.
"Good..." she sighed, for once not questioning my expenditure. I hoped this offered her some semblance of comfort.
The shadows grew as the sun sank, and the cemetery cleared. The only people remaining were the ones charged with filling Charlie's grave. We set quietly, watching them as the sun dipped further below the trees. Bella's dry sobs had quelled, and I kissed the places on Bella's cheeks that sparkled in the light's last rays.
Eternity stretched out in front of us now, vast and unknown. It wasn't perfect yet; still suspended in the dusk that my blunders had created.
"It's been a long day. A hard one. But I want you to know that you're extraordinary, and I love you." I spoke softly, not wanting to disturb this one moment of peace.
She pulled me tight against her. "I can handle anything as long as you're with me."
I wrapped my arms around her body. "Then here I will stay." I laid a soft kiss on her lips. "Forever."
"Forever." she agreed.
Written in loving memory of Charles David Baker
March 2nd, 1954 — August 28th, 1999