Aaron Bolton, 37, was considered a fixture of the Missoula, Montana music scene. Co-owner of the Missoula's Badlander bar and a complex of music venues, he was known for maintaining an even keel in stressful situations and for his tireless work ethic.
Bolton moved to Seattle in 2001 with what the Missoulian described as "the aim of becoming a professional drummer." He left Seattle in 2005 and returned to Montana.
His partner at the Badlander, Chris Henry, told the Missoulian that Bolton and his stepbrother came to Seattle over the weekend to pick up new speakers for the Badlander.
Henry says that Bolton left his Seattle hotel Sunday night around 11pm, telling his stepbrother he was going to Re-Bar, a nightclub on the north end of Denny Triangle.
Nobody knows what happened to Aaron Bolton after he left the hotel. All we know is that at 6am the next morning Seattle police received a report of Bolton's body floating in Elliott Bay near Pier 57, a mile downhill from Re-Bar. An hour later his body was recovered:
The weather that night was calm and clear, but it was 35 degrees out when Bolton left his hotel and the temperature had dropped to 30 degrees by the time police recovered his body from icy waters of Elliott Bay.
The initial ruling by the King County Medical Examiner's Office was death by salt-water drowning and police are calling it an accident. Bolton's blood-alcohol content is unknown and the Examiner's office won't be releasing a toxicology report since foul play is not suspected.
Chris Field was a friend of Bolton's and they attended the University of Montana together. In an email to the Weekly he writes: "I knew Aaron really well in Montana and when he lived in Seattle. We ran in the same circle all throughout college. It's really tragic. He was the nicest guy."