BETHANY, Ore. — The search for a 19-year-old man from Bethany didn't return from a hunting trip with his dad and younger brother was suspended on Monday, the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office said.
Riley Salisbury was hunting Saturday on the lower Columbia River on Karlson Island, about 20 miles east of Astoria.
Authorities said they conducted a large search of the area using boats, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and infrared technology, but Salisbury has not been found.
His family is at a loss for what happened to him. Riley had been hunting in that area numerous times. He has a large self-made taxidermy collection to prove it.
"He took care of his brothers and sisters so well and he had a passion for wildlife and animals and conservation, he was very much into the biology of life and he was passionate about it," said Todd Salisbury, Riley's father.
Around noon Saturday, Riley’s dad said he stopped responding to text messages and he became worried. They had split up into two separate small boats but were just minutes from each other.
"Everything, just putting it all together, it just, some kind of freak accident happened and we have no comprehension of what it was," Todd Salisbury said.
Todd called 911 when he could not find Riley. The Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office helped search on the ground, while a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter crew looked from the air.
"I kept thinking they're going to find him, this is silly," said Loralee Salisbury, Riley's mother.
Searchers found his boat, bag, and gun, but not him.
"In the immediate area there was no sign of struggle," Todd Salisbury said. "There was no sign that he had even attempted to reach for his cellphone, which was in his bag, everything was in proper order in his bag and it's literally as if someone picked him straight up out of his position and carried him away because there’s no sign of any type of struggle."
Riley was wearing waders and likely had his face painted, so he may be hard to spot. His family worries he may no longer be alive but is asking everyone in the area to keep an eye out.
"I could at least have closure, I mean, even though I know that this, I know the situation didn't turn out good, but if we could have closure that would be nice," Loralee said.