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Missing Silverton teen found more than a year after disappearance

Ezra Mayhugh was last seen on Oct. 15, 2021 in downtown Salem. Deputies said at the time that he may have fallen victim to a "catfishing" scheme.

SALEM, Ore. — More than a year after his disappearance, a missing Silverton teenager has returned home, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Ezra Mayhugh was 17 years old when he was last seen on Oct. 15, 2021. Early that day, he'd been dropped off for a morning shift at the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton, his family told KGW in December of that year. Later in the day, Mayhugh texted his parents to say he was working a double. When they went to pick him up that night, he was not there.

The sheriff's office later said that Mayhugh had been dropped off by a friend in downtown Salem. He told the friend that he'd been "catfished" online and had to leave, according to MCSO.

Investigators came to believe that Mayhugh may have traveled to Washington or California, but the trail went cold. There were no substantive updates on the investigation when MCSO put out another statement in October 2022.

"The Marion County Sheriff’s Office has worked closely with the family in the past year and has nearly exhausted all investigative leads," the agency said at the time. "The Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Ezra’s family have not given up hope that he can be located."

They provided the phone number of an MCSO sergeant, asking that anyone with information about Mayhugh's whereabouts get in contact.

But on Saturday the sheriff's office issued a new statement, saying that Mayhugh had been found:

"We are happy to provide the update, Ezra has been located and reunited with his family. Ezra and his family respectfully request no contact from the community or the media at this time. No further information will be provided."

When KGW spoke to Mayhugh's family just weeks after his disappearance, they described him as an artistic and musical person. They said that having him go missing was the hardest thing they'd ever had to endure.

"I'd give my right arm for him to be home," said Ezra's father, Rex Mayhugh. I'd give all my wealth. It's your son. This is my child."

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