Investigators say that Capitol Hill resident Amy Vanderbeck’s January death in a few feet-deep Volunteer Park lily pond was an accidental drowning.
The King County Medical Examiner confirmed the finding this week with the completion of toxicology reports some three months after the 49-year-old’s body was pulled from the pond near the park’s iconic water tower. Vanderbeck was found in the water wearing a heavy coat on the morning of January 9th. Police said there was no sign of foul play.
Vanderbeck is remembered as a longtime part of the Capitol Hill and the Seattle coffee scene as a popular Vivace barista who opened Watertown cafe on 12th Ave with two fellow Vivace employees before closing the venue in 2010. Vanderbeck also worked in tech and as an audio engineer and video producer.
A few hundred friends and family gathered at the Century Ballroom following her death to remember their loved one and mourn before walking together to the pond in Volunteer Park where she died.
A giving fund raised more than $30,000 to help cover the cost of a memorial in Capitol Hill’s Lake View Cemetery:
We are devastated by the loss of Amy Vanderbeck. One of Capitol Hill’s brightest stars, she was loved far and wide. Amy was creative, passionate, hilarious, irreverent and loyal. She is the third of four sisters — the “Vandersisters” — who are incredibly close. Lisa, Jenny, and Katy knew it was dangerous to meet Amy. She would make you part of the “Vanderbeck Mafia,” which means you are in the family for life. Those who have known this honor are heartbroken. Her creative talents are listed on IMDb. She recently created the Struggle to Connect podcast. She was intimate with quantum physics and wicked with a mixing board. In typical Amy fashion, she also accidentally became a star of Japanese television while attending a soccer game.