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Missing hiker found deceased

Published

A hiker reported missing after not returning from a hike was found deceased near Horsetail Falls Trailhead.

On Friday, March 15, 2024 at around 10:00 p.m., Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) responded to a call from a person reporting that their friend, a 61-year-old woman, had not returned from a planned solo hike at Oneonta Falls. The caller reported that they had located the hiker’s car in the parking lot at Horsetail Falls Trailhead. 


MCSO Green Hornets, a team of deputies trained for hasty deployment to the trails of the west Columbia River Gorge, responded and searched for the missing hiker throughout the night. They were assisted by Gresham Police Department who used Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones) to help search the vast area. The hiker did not have her cell phone with her, making it impossible to find her location through cell tower pings.


The next morning, Saturday, March 16, 2024, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (MCSOSAR) began a daylight search mission. They were aided by multiple neighboring agencies. By 10:00 a.m., there were more than fifty personnel on the ground searching. Search efforts included the use of tracking dogs and drones. 


At approximately 12:30 p.m., the missing hiker was found at the bottom of a cliff near Horsetail Falls Trailhead. E Old Historic Columbia Highway was closed, briefly, in both directions so that the deceased hiker’s remains could be safely recovered. The medical examiner’s office responded and took custody of the hiker’s remains and will determine the official cause of death. The name of the deceased hiker is being withheld until next of kin notifications are completed.


Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the following agencies who assisted in the search and recovery efforts: MCSOSAR, Gresham Police Department, Clackamas County Search & Rescue, Mt. Wave Search & Rescue, Hood River Crag Rats and Oregon Department of Transportation.
 

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