Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson updated the media on Monday at 11:45 AM on the search for John Hill, the Hillsboro man who has been missing since Saturday evening.
Dickerson said Columbia County Search and Rescue has been joined in the search for Hill by personnel from Washington County, Multnomah County, Clatsop County and Yamhill County along with Mountain Wave Search and Rescue and volunteers from Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue. Dickerson said approximately 60 people are now involved in the search for Hill.
The search is currently focused near milepost 35 on Highway 26 in an area of the Tillamook State Forest. Hill’s vehicle was located about 4.5 miles up North Fork Wolf Creek Road.
According to Dickerson, Hill failed to return from a day-long bow hunting trip on Saturday evening, September 20. Dickerson said Hill contacted family members by cell phone on Sunday morning, once at 7:00 AM and again at 9:30 AM. Dickerson said the second phone call raised concerns with Hill’s family, as Hill was “confused and disoriented.” Hill has not been heard from since.
Dickerson declined to comment on any personal health issues Hill may suffer from, and would not confirm, when asked, whether Hill is diabetic.
Hill’s family initially began a search for him on Sunday morning and reported him missing around 12:30 PM. Columbia County initiated Search and Rescue operations which continued throughout Sunday afternoon with assistance from Washington County and Yamhill County. Dickerson said a limited crew was on scene overnight and full scale search operations resumed at 9:00 AM Monday morning.
Dickerson said canine units were used in the search on Sunday and more would be used Monday.
Dickerson said the rough terrain in the area makes the search difficult. Dickerson also noted that heavy forest cover in the area makes it difficult to use helicopters in the search.
Dickerson said he had limited information about Hill’s knowledge of the area he is believed to be lost in. Dickerson said Hill was wearing camouflage which would also hamper the search.
Dickerson said he believes several other hunters may have seen Hill in the area Saturday night, but that no one had spoken with him. Dickerson would not elaborate on what those other hunters might have told authorities about Hill. Dickerson said no other clues to Hill’s location have been identified.
Dickerson would not comment on whether Hill was married or had any children.