COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE – The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office was busy on Saturday after getting four separate reports of missing persons at Multnomah Falls.
Everyone was eventually accounted for but the sheriff’s office said this is a good reminder to have all the proper equipment when you go hiking – food, water, maps, a flashlight and a cell phone. And it’s also easier to find you if you tell a friend or family member where you are going and when you will be back.
Here are the details on the missing person reports from the sheriff’s office:
Today (07/07/12) at approximately 1:50 p.m. MCSO deputies responded to the report of a lost hiker at Multnomah Falls. The mother reported they were hiking on the Multnomah Falls trails and her 21 yr old daughter told her she was going to jog ahead and she had not seen her since. The daughter had been missing three hours at this point, did not have a cellphone and was not carrying any emergency equipment. Shortly after making contact with the mother, the daughter came out on the trailhead at Larch Mountain and borrowed another hiker’s cellphone to make contact with her mom. She told her she became lost on the trail and didn’t know where she was at and just came out there. An MCSO deputy drove the mother over to Larch Mountain to reunite her with her daughter.
At approximately 4:35 p.m. MCSO deputies responded to a report of a missing 11 year old at Multnomah Falls relayed to them from Skamania County 911. The initial caller did not give any more information, when deputies arrived at Multnomah Falls and began looking in the immediate area another visitor made contact with the deputy and said they could not locate their 17 year old special needs child who had become separated from them at about 3:30 p.m. Arriving deputies and U.S. Forest Service personnel searched the immediate area around Multnomah Falls for both missing persons.A Forest Service Ranger hiking up the Multnomah Falls trail came into contact with the family who reported the 11 year old missing and they informed her they had located their 11 year old. The Forest Service Ranger continued up the trail looking for the 17 year old and when she arrived at the top of Multnomah Falls another visitor came over and reported his 12 year old son was missing. The ranger contacted the deputy down at the bottom of the Multnomah Falls trail with the description of the 12 year old last seen about 4:30 p.m. MCSO Search and Rescue units were notified and placed on standby.The father of the 12 year old contacted the ranger about 30 minutes later and informed the Ranger the 12 year old was safe and was with his uncle. MCSO Search and Rescue units were in the process of being activated when the 17 year old special needs child walked out the bottom of the Multnomah Falls Trail and met his parents and deputy who were at the bottom of the trail. He said he had been on the trail looking for his parents.
The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone visiting the beautiful scenic Columbia Gorge to remember to carry the proper equipment when out on the trails including a map, water, food, compass, extra clothes, a flashlight and extra batteries, cellphone, firestarter, first aid kit and a signaling device such as a whistle.Be sure you let someone who is not on the hike with you know where you are going, what trail(s) you plan on hiking, and when you should return. This will assist Search and Rescue units in locating you much faster if you become lost or overdue.
When visiting the area with younger family members keep in mind all of the scenic areas in the Columbia Gorge can be extremely busy during the summer months.
When children are accompanying you, it is very easy to lose sight of a child running ahead and not realize they took a side trail or path off the route you were on and pass by them not realizing it. Make sure to keep children together with your group. Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office would like everyone to have a safe and enjoyable visit to the Columbia Gorge scenic areas.