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Boy still missing at Crater Lake

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Mail Tribune
Medford, Oregon
October 16, 2006
By Sarah Lemon


CRATER LAKE — Searchers were expected to work through the night to locate an 8-year-old Portland boy missing since Saturday.


Snow and wind hampered search efforts Sunday and grounded helicopters, said Dave Brennan, chief ranger at the national park. Sixteen searchers were combing dense forests near the park's Cleetwood Cove Trail late Sunday, the chief ranger said.


"We're still searching for a live, little boy, and we're optimistic," Brennan said.


The boy went missing around 4 p.m. Saturday when he wandered away from his father's car, parked near a turnout for Cleetwood Cove, Brennan said. The trail provides the park's only lakeshore access.


The boy's father looked for him for about two hours before flagging down a passing motorist, who called 9-1-1. Park employees immediately started searching, working through the night, Brennan said. Saturday evening was clear with temperatures in the lower 30s, he added.


Personnel from Jackson, Klamath and Deschutes counties had joined the effort Sunday, along with rangers from other national parks, Brennan said.


Searchers have covered several thousand acres but believe the boy is within a mile or two of where he left his father's car, Brennan said.


"We don't know where this little boy went ... or whether he has sought shelter and stayed put," Brennan said.


The boy was wearing long pants, hiking shoes and a jacket, Brennan said. More snow showers are expected at the park today, he said.


Mired at Crater Lake, county officials had to call for outside help Sunday when two boys were reported lost in woods near Howard Prairie Lake.


The boys — ages 5 and 12 — were reunited with their father just before 7 p.m., said sheriff's deputy Greg Schuster. Josephine County searchers were in route when the boys' father found them.


"Dad and the kids got separated," Schuster said.


The boys' father looked for them for several hours near Buck Prairie Road before stopping a passing motorist, who called the sheriff's department at about 5:30 p.m., Schuster said.


The boys were not injured, he added.


Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail slemon@mailtribune.com.

 

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