PORTLAND, Ore. — In an interview on KXL Wednesday morning, Dustin Klinger, the father of missing University of Portland student Owen Klinger, indicated that his son's disappearance could be linked to something that was happening at school.
"We are worried that Owen was worried about, you know, things at school, but we haven’t been able to find anything concrete that can lead to what’s going on," he said when asked if there were any new leads or tips.
Steve Leader, co-host with Rebecca Marshall of KXL's Portland's Morning News show, asked Klinger to clarify if he was saying that something that happened at the university could have been a factor in Owen's disappearance.
"Well, we just don't know. We've talked to so many people, we've talked to so many friends, and Owen was an emotional, concerned guy," he said. "He was worried about other people more than himself more often, and that's why this is just so out of character. He wouldn't get so wrapped up in his own concerns at the moment. That wasn't his pattern. So the worry is that maybe he was trying to help someone or going out to do something for someone else."
Klinger said there haven't been any concrete leads or tips about Owen's disappearance, other than the TriMet video police showed them of Owen walking near a bus around 7:50 p.m. on Oct. 6, the day he was last seen, and the last time there was any activity on his phone.
Klinger said two search groups will be meeting to look for Owen on Wednesday at 4 p.m. One group is meeting at Cathedral Park under St. Johns Bridge. A second group is meeting at the Portland Tennis Center.
He said the response from friends and the community has been more than anyone could have expected.
"Even the detectives have said they haven't seen this much concerted effort and organized effort," he said. "We've got hundreds of people, from the homeless that we hand flyers to, to partners in the big law firms. All over the city, people have been putting up flyers and just hitting the streets in any direction that we can. We just started with the university and keep moving out there."
Klinger said he hopes that Owen knows it's safe for him to come home.
"We just want him to know that nothing can't be dealt with, everything will be OK. We just want to know that he's safe and try to get him home," he said. "It's really important that he not be worried that he's caused so much trouble that he's too scared to come home now because everything will be fine."
As a parent worried about his missing son, Klinger said he's not getting much sleep and he's trying to keep himself occupied.
"I've just been trying to keep busy and out looking and just keep moving," he said. "I just kind of feel like a caged animal if I sit still too long."
There's also a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign web page that has raised more than $10,000 of its $15,000 goal.
If you see Owen Klinger, you are asked to call 911. If you have any information that can help in the search, call Portland police at 503-823-1081 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Klinger’s family also started an email account to help. If you want to get involved in the search efforts email email@example.com.