Search continues for missing hiker in Wildwood Recreation Area

Search continues for man lost on Welches area hike

UPDATE: Mitchell was found alive on Thursday, Oct. 26.

 

 

MT. HOOD VILLAGE, Ore. -- A search in the Wildwood Recreation Area for a man who went missing Saturday evening continued on Tuesday.

Nathan Mitchell, 34, had planned a day hike Saturday but did not return.

The trial attorney from Portland went on a hike Saturday when a powerful weather system moved into the area. His family found his car around 1 a.m. Sunday at the Wildwood Recreation Site just off Highway 26.

Mitchell's family is staying positive. His mother said she can only think of a good outcome for her son's story.

"Today’s got to be our day, it’s day four, he has no food and he’s been somewhere in the rain and the woods and I’m his mom," said Gay Mitchell. "So it just breaks my heart, but I’m hoping all this Oregon upbringing comes through (and) all his boy scout training. "

Mitchell's father says Nathan is an experienced hiker who grew up learning about the outdoors.

“You teach your kids how to go out in the woods and how to appreciate nature,” said Charles Mitchell. “And the flip side of that is nature is pretty unforgiving sometimes. And anybody can get hurt. I hike these trails all the time and it’s a dangerous thing to do unprepared.”

On the ground, teams of searchers worked to cover grids drawn on maps to be sure nothing was overlooked.
Above, a military helicopter helped scan the vast wilderness for anyone in distress.

There are many challenges.

“I think initially it was the weather. I think now we’re blessed with some great weather. More so than anything else now it’s probably just the topography and the area. We’re looking at about a 40-square-mile area,” said Lt. Chris Cate from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

There are some clues from Instagram. Mitchell posted five pictures Saturday, apparently during the hike. Rescue teams have figured out the exact location of at least one of the photos.

Mitchell's father says it’s not unusual for his son to hike alone.

“He hikes alone all the time. What’s unusual is for the storm to come in and for him to be unprepared for a lot of the aftermath of that,” he said.

Mitchell is 5-foot-8 and 130 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark blue/gray plaid Pendleton wool shirt, black Columbia rain jacket, brown Columbia hiking boots and a black backpack.

If you find him, please call 911. If you have any tips or information about his whereabouts, please call the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office at 503-655-8211.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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