Police eye boatbuilder in drowning death

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A western Washington boatbuilder is the target of a criminal investigation into the 2009 drowning death of a Lake Stevens, Wash., woman.

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives are asking prosecutors to file second-degree manslaughter charges against the owner of a boat manufacturing company, The Herald (Everett) newspaper reported.

The Herald generally doesn’t name suspects until they are formally charged or make a court appearance, the paper said.

Law enforcement officials believe the man, 67, knowingly sold a ski boat made with unsafe materials. That boat capsized on Lake Stevens on July 11, 2009, and Cindy Tate, 48, was killed.

Officials believe a wave swamped the bow of the nearly 21-foot vessel, flooding it. Tate likely was trapped under the boat as it sank, the paper reported. Detectives have since determined that the boat allegedly was built with a cheaper kind of foam that is not approved for marine use, according to court papers.

Detectives plan to meet with prosecutors later this month to discuss the case.

The company owner didn’t return requests for an interview, according to the report.

Records show the man served time in state prison in the 1990s for check fraud. He is listed as an owner in multiple other businesses in Washington, including a marine services company with addresses in Kent and La Conner, the newspaper reported.

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