Missing mushroom picker reunited with family

Credit: KGW Reporter Ashley Korslien

Missing mushroom picker reunited with family

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by KGW.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 26 at 12:14 PM

MOLALLA, Ore. -- A missing Portland man with a heart condition who vanished while mushroom picking has been found safe, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

About 45 searchers from Multnomah and Clackamas counties were looking for 53-year-old Boris Bondarchuk along the Molalla River, off of South Family Camp Road, Thursday, according to deputy Mark Nikolai of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. 

But it was a logging truck driver who spotted Bondarchuk along an area road, looking very wet and cold.  The driver pulled over and said the man spoke to him in Russian.  He took Bondarchuk to the Molalla Fire Department where he was cared for and reunited with his family.

"We both started crying. She hugged him from the front, I hugged him from the back and then our mom hugged us all around," said Bondarchuk's daughter Yuliya Yudintsev.

"We're just so appreciative that anybody paid attention, that people prayed for him. He's alive and he's healthy," said Yelena Bondarchuk.

Boris told his wife and kids that he survived by finding shelter in the woods to keep himself dry and then followed the Molalla River until it came to a road.

Bondarchuk had been missing since Monday and said he got lost in the woods.  He was described as an experienced mushroom picker.

CCSO deputy Corey Smith said it's easy for mushroom pickers to get lost, even if they are experienced.

"Mushroom pickers are looking at the ground, which is where they hunt for their mushrooms. So what happens occasionally is while looking down, they get disoriented, they look up and they forget which way is back to the car," he explained.


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