LONGVIEW, Wash. – The Cowlitz and Skamania County sheriffs have called off their search for a Japanese hitchhiker who went missing near Mount St. Helens at the end of November.
Yosuke Onishi, 26, of Japan, was last seen Nov. 27 in Cougar Wash. Onishi had told friends he was interested in climbing Mount Saint Helens, Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputies said.
According to Charlie Rosenzweig of the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, Onishi was last seen by Ronald Jackman, the owner of the Lakeshore Store and Deli in Cougar Wash.
Jackman saw Onishi, who was hitchhiking in the area, get into a grey or light brown passenger car with an Asian couple and a small white dog inside, Rosenzweig said.
“Both aerial and ground searches were performed with no results,” said Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office Undersheriff Marc Gilchrist of the search. ”Hikers in the area were contacted but no one had information about seeing Mr. Onishi or seeing someone that appeared to be in distress.”
Onishi is from Saga Prefecture on the island of Kyushu in Japan, Gilhrist said.
Onishi's mother Tokiko Onishi and sister Ayako Onishi, flew from Japan to Portland Friday and drove up to Cougar, Wash. where they spoke with deputies, Gilhrist said. He did not known how long the two would stay in the U.S.
The missing hiker was described as 5 ft., 9 in. tall, 150 lbs. with brown eyes and black hair. He was last seen wearing a black coat and dark colored pants.
Anyone with information was asked to call the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office at 360-577-3092. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call crime stoppers at 360-577-1206.