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Friday, June 29, 2007 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Decaying body found at home of missing ex-radio host

Seattle Times staff reporter

A property manager discovered a decomposing body Thursday in a Queen Anne home rented by a missing former radio host.

Onetime KIRO-AM radio personality Mike Webb was reported missing May 14, although he apparently hadn't been seen since mid-April. He rented a beige house, hidden from the street by overgrown bushes, in the 2500 block of Third Avenue West.

A property manager entered the home about 3 p.m. and found a "highly decomposed dead body," said Seattle police spokesman Jeff Kappel. "We're unable to determine race, sex, age — anything."

Kappel said investigators are treating the death as suspicious.

Kappel added that after Webb was reported missing, officers stopped by the home, although he was unable to specify when. Without evidence of criminal activity, police can't enter a private residence without permission.

"It's not a crime to be a missing person," Kappel said.

Webb, a 10-year KIRO employee who hosted a liberal late-night talk show, was fired from the station shortly after he was charged with insurance fraud in December 2005.

Prosecutors said he filed a fraudulent insurance claim after a traffic accident in June 2005. Geico investigators testified that he bought the policy the day after the accident, and then submitted a claim in which he asserted he purchased it five weeks earlier.

A King County judge declared a mistrial after some jurors saw Webb handcuffed outside the courthouse. Seattle police said that he was acting "irrational and irate."

A woman told police that Webb had threatened to kill himself if found guilty and that he had access to a gun in his house, the police report stated.

He refused to let officers take the weapon, according to the report. He was taken to Harborview Medical Center for a mental-health evaluation, Kappel said at the time.

Webb was convicted of insurance fraud in February after a second trial and sentenced to 240 hours of community service and fined $1,000.

Seattle Times reporter Natalie Singer contributed to this report.

Maureen O'Hagan: 206-464-2562 or mohagan@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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