The Renton man, whose name was not immediately available, was reported missing by his girlfriend at about 2 p.m. Thursday after he did not return home from work on Wednesday. A King County sheriff's deputy went to the family's home and took a report.
Then, at about 10 p.m. Thursday, family members used an application to track down the man's cell phone GPS to the 17900 block of Cedar Grove Road. There they found the missing man's truck, about 200 feet down a steep embankment in a heavily wooded area.
Family members then called 911, and deputies and emergency personnel responded to the scene. Firefighters found a man's body partially inside the truck.
Sheriff's officials launched an investigation, reconstructing the crash scene. It took two large tow trucks several hours to pull the pickup from the ravine.
Officials say they have no idea how the man died, and they have not yet confirmed that the man found in the truck is the missing Renton man.
The King County Medical Examiner will identify the man in the truck and determine the cause of death.
King County sheriff's detective Jason Stanley said that, due to privacy concerns, police generally cannot use cell phone information to locate missing persons unless they suspect an imminent danger to the person or suspect foul play.
However, family and friends of missing persons have the ability to access missing people's cell phone GPS without the same protections that people have from privacy intrusions from law enforcement, Stanley said.