Mike Dueker, the chief economist at Russell Investments, was found dead at the side of a highway that leads to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. He was 50.
He might have jumped over a 4-foot fence before falling down a 40- to 50-foot embankment, Pierce County Detective Ed Troyer said Thursday. He said the death appeared to be a suicide.
Mr. Dueker was reported missing on Jan. 29, and a group of friends had been searching for him along with law enforcement. Mr. Troyer said Mr. Dueker was having problems at work, without elaborating.
Mr. Dueker was in good standing at Russell, said Jennifer Tice, a company spokeswoman. She declined to comment on Mr. Troyer’s statement about Mr. Dueker’s work issues.
“We were deeply saddened to learn today of the death,” Ms. Tice said in an e-mail. “He made valuable contributions that helped our clients and many of his fellow associates.”
Mr. Dueker worked at Seattle-based Russell for five years and developed a business-cycle index that forecast economic performance. He was previously an assistant vice president and research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
He published dozens of research papers over the past two decades, many on monetary policy, according to the St. Louis Fed’s website, which ranks him among the top 5% of economists by number of works published. His most-cited work was a 1997 paper titled, “Strengthening the case for the yield curve as a predictor of U.S. recessions,” published by the reserve bank while he was a researcher there.
Mr. Dueker earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Washington, a master’s degree in that field from Northwestern University and an undergraduate degree in math from the University of Oregon.
Russell is owned by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. and manages more than $246 billion.