Multnomah Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
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Searchers locate missing Portland hiker alive near Horsetail Falls trail, now reunited with family - 05/10/21

Search and rescue crews located missing Portland hiker Joe Dean, 71, at approximately 8:54 a.m. Monday, May 10. Dean was found near the Horsetail Falls Trail, approximately one-half mile from the trailhead. Rescuers reported he was conscious and breathing, and that they were providing first aid. Additional rescuers and medical personnel deployed from the command post with a wheeled Stokes basket. Dean was placed into the basket and guided down the rocky trail by rescuers to the parking lot. At 10:55 a.m., rescuers reached the trailhead, where he was reunited with family. Dean was transported to a local hospital for further medical evaluation. He was talking and able to walk with assistance.

Dean told deputies he planned to hike a 12-mile loop from Horsetail Falls, along the Rock of Ages Ridge and return via Oneonta Creek Trail. About half way into the hike, he lost the trail. Both the Oneonta and Horsetail Creek drainages suffered significant fire damage during the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017. The trails in these areas are not maintained, indistinguishable and overgrown. This area has been closed since the fire.

On Saturday afternoon, Dean sent a text message to his wife stating he was lost. He was reported missing at around 8:33 p.m. Saturday. Based on his age and location, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) activated MCSO Search and Rescue. By 11 p.m., a hasty team of 16 searchers headed out on the trail to begin searching for Dean.

On Sunday, approximately 65 search and rescue members from multiple organizations combed miles of trail and rugged wilderness for Dean. A drone and an airplane performed multiple aerial searches. Using cell phone data, searchers were able to identify a general search area. Based on this data, and statements made by family and friends, SAR members believed Dean was alive and mobile. Despite treacherous trail conditions, SAR members forged ahead and continued their search efforts. On Monday morning, a team located Dean near the Horsetail Creek trail.

Dean also reported that when he became lost, he followed Horsetail Creek downward, hiking during the day and stopping at night. While Dean was not prepared to stay overnight, he was carrying thermal leggings, a jacket and a balaclava. Dean was able to ration snacks, but did run out of drinking water.

We want to recognize all of the search and rescue members, many of whom are volunteers, from the many agencies and organizations that assisted in the successful multi-day search, including:

While spring and summer-like weather continues, many trails in the Columbia River Gorge are still snow covered and have not been cleared or maintained since last fall. We urge hikers, no matter their experience, to head warnings and hike only open trails for their safety and the safety of others. Visit ReadySetGorge.com to view a list of open trails and latest trail conditions. It is recommended you create a hiking plan and share the plan with a friend or family member. Lastly, we recommend if you become lost, to call or text for help, if possible, and stay put. Moving can make it more challenging for searchers to locate you. In Multnomah County, you can text 911 to report an emergency.

Before you leave home, it is suggested that you always carry a first aid kit in your car and bring the Ten Essentials with you on the trail, even if you are only going out for the day.

Ten Essentials for hiking:

  • Navigation: map, compass, altimeter, GPS device, personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite messenger
  • Headlamp or flashlight: plus, extra batteries
  • Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen
  • First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
  • Knife: plus, a gear repair kit
  • Fire: matches, lighter, tinder and/or stove
  • Shelter: carried at all times, (can be a light emergency bivy)
  • Extra food: Beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra water: Beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra clothes: Beyond the minimum expectation

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue program is a 100% volunteer organization, comprised of approximately 50 very dedicated, trained volunteers, including both youth and adults. MCSO SAR is recruiting new members. Click here if you would like to learn more about MCSO SAR.

Prior press releases can be viewed by clicking here.

This is expected to be the final news release. ###

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UPDATE: Search continues for missing Portland hiker (Photo) - 05/09/21

Update as of May 9 at 8:15 p.m.:

The search for missing Portland hiker Joe Dean, 71, continues into Sunday evening. Today, approximately 65 search and rescue members from several agencies and organizations combed a myriad of backcountry trails south of Horsetail Falls.

In addition to ground searches, a drone was used to aid in aerial search efforts, as well as a plane operated by the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.

At the time of this news release, Dean remains missing.

Search efforts will continue through the night. Additional resources will arrive Monday morning.

While Horsetail Falls remains open, parking is very limited due to search and rescue efforts. We ask that visitors provide ample space for first responders to perform their tasks safely.

This is an ongoing mission. Updates will be posted when available on FlashAlertPortland.net and on MCSO's Twitter feed, @MultCoSO. See original release below for person and clothing description.

Assisting organizations include:

  • Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue
  • Washington County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue
  • Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue
  • Hood River County Sheriff’s Office
  • PNW Search & Rescue
  • Hood River Crag Rats
  • Portland Mountain Rescue
  • Mountain Wave Emergency Communications
  • USFS, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

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Original news release posted on Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 10:05 a.m.:

On Saturday, May 8, 2021, at approximately 8:33 p.m., the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) received a report of an overdue, missing hiker near the Horsetail Falls trail system. The missing hiker was identified as 71-year-old Joseph (Joe) Edward Dean. It was reported that Dean sent a text message to his wife stating he was lost somewhere on the Rock of the Ages Trail. MCSO deputies activated the Search and Rescue (SAR) team and responded to the location.

Around 11 p.m., 16 search and rescue volunteers arrived at the Horsetail Falls Trailhead and performed a hasty search of the area. Overnight, MCSO SAR requested additional resources from neighboring counties. On Sunday, approximately 40 SAR members arrived from various organizations to assist in the search. In addition to ground searches, drones are being used, as well as an airplane from the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.

Dean is described as a while male, 6’ 2”, 160 lbs., with blue eyes and white hair. He was last seen wearing:

  • Blue long sleeve shirt
  • Yellow and black jacket
  • Olive green shorts
  • Gray hiking boots
  • Navy blue face mask.
  • Dean was carrying a blue backpack

Dean is reportedly an experienced hiker, but was not prepared to stay overnight.

If you were hiking in the area of Horsetail Falls or Rock of the Ages Ridge Saturday afternoon and may have recognized Dean, please call the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office at 503-988-7300 and refer to case number PM21-22611.

Despite its popularity and use, the Rock of the Ages is an unmaintained trail, and has been closed since the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017. The trail is rated as difficult, because of its steep, rocky terrain.

While Horsetail Falls remains open, parking is limited due to search and rescue efforts. We ask that visitors provide ample space for first responders to perform their tasks safely.

This is an ongoing mission. Updates will be posted when available on FlashAlertPortland.net and on MCSO's Twitter feed, @MultCoSO.

MCSO & MCDA provide update in sexual assault case - 05/06/21

On November 14, 2020, James Monje Lara of Affinity Wellness Massage, (110 E Historic Columbia River Drive #3 Troutdale, OR), was taken into custody by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) following an investigation opened by MCSO after a client reported experiencing sexual abuse while receiving a massage. Shortly after being taken into custody, Mr. Monje Lara posted bail and was released. After search warrants were executed, it was discovered that Mr. Monje Lara had recorded a number of videos of himself sexually abusing clients while they received massages from him. These videos and sex acts were done without the clients’ knowledge or consent. Following the discovery of new evidence, MCSO detectives took action to take Mr. Monje Lara back into custody with the intention of referring additional charges to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s (MCDA) office for review; unfortunately, detectives discovered that Mr. Monje Lara had taken his own life while out on bail. As a result, MCSO and MCDA are unable to move forward with any criminal case against Mr. Monje Lara.

After uncovering evidence of many additional and previously unidentified victims, detectives from MCSO and Victim Advocates from MCDA partnered together to create a plan to best support victims. Victims were contacted, informed of the findings, and offered support and information about available resources. MCSO has contacted and identified all of the victims, and has found no evidence that any additional videos exist. In order to honor their right to privacy, no additional information regarding these cases will be released.

If you have had contact with Mr. Monje Lara and have any concerns about having been abused, or would like to report any information, please contact MCSO at 503-255-3600. They will continue to work closely with MCDA and help evaluate if additional interviews would be appropriate and make referrals to advocacy or support services.

MCSO and MCDA acknowledge the isolation and harm that can come from acts of sexual violence, these impacts ripple out into communities, family systems and can impact individuals throughout their lifetime. If you are a survivor of sexual violence, you are not alone. Regardless of how much time has passed since the abuse occurred, support and services are available.

Please reach out for support:

  • RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network): 1-800-656-4673
  • Call to Safety (crisis line): 503-235-5333 or toll free 1-888-235-5333
  • El Programa Hispano Católico-Project UNICA: 503-232-4488
  • Sexual Assault Resource Center (serving victims in Washington County): 503-626-9100
  • Clackamas Women’s Services (serving victims in Clackamas County): 503-654-2288
  • Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office Victim Assistance Program: 503-988-3222

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Four climbers rescued by search and rescue crews in steep terrain (Photo) - 04/30/21

Four climbers were rescued near Wahclella Falls Trail during a large, joint search and rescue operation overnight.

On Friday, April 30, 2021, at 12:25 a.m., Multnomah County patrol deputies received a report that four climbers were stuck on the side of a cliff and needed rescue in the Columbia River Gorge. The climbers reported that they were canyoneering and entered from the Wahclella Falls Trailhead. The climbers, who are not from the area, took the Gorge 400 Trail and traversed rocky bluffs to Munra Creek, a steep canyon featuring a series of cascading waterfalls. The climbers were equipped with ropes and safety equipment, and were appropriately dressed.

After tying off, they ran into complications when a rope became stuck during their descent. One climber became separated from the party and was stranded between two waterfalls. The two waterfalls are estimated to be 50 and 65 feet tall. The climbers tried to troubleshoot the situation, but were unable to safely exit the area. After several hours, and nightfall, the climbers called for help, and stayed put. Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue (MCSO SAR) responded. Due to the extreme terrain, MCSO contacted Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office to activate Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR), a volunteer group of highly skilled climbers that have experience in mountainous terrain.

With the assistance of MCSO SAR, four PMR members familiar with the Munra Creek canyon trekked to the location of the stranded climbers, following a similar route. Meanwhile, a ground team of PMR and MCSO SAR members hiked to the location of the separated climber.

The three climbers were relieved to see PMR rescuers, as they were running low on food. By this point, the climbers had spent nearly 10 hours in the canyon. Because of the climbers’ fatigue, rescuers decided to lower the trio, rather than risk climbing steep canyon walls.

The ground team reached the separated climber, as rescuers began lowering the climbers down the side of the 50-foot waterfall. Once reunited, MCSO SAR and PMR guided the climbers down across a stream and down a rocky slope near Munra Falls to the Wahclella Falls Trailhead. The four climbers returned to their cars at approximately 6:15 a.m., around 12 hours after leaving the trailhead. They were evaluated on scene and released.

Canyoneering is becoming an increasingly popular activity in the Northwest, and the Columbia River Gorge is an attractive destination because of the combination of steep terrain and picturesque scenery. We encourage those who canyoneer to research and visit locations prior to climbing, identify a climbing route, carry all necessary gear, including emergency equipment, and develop an emergency plan. Share the plan with a member outside your party who is not participating, as well as emergency contact information. Rescuers find that many climbers are not prepared for the amount of water found in creeks and waterfalls year-round. This area was also impacted by the Eagle Creek Fire in 2017, and the terrain is constantly changing, quickly dating even recent trip reports from prior climbers and hikers.

As we near summer, many trails are still snow covered and have not been cleared or maintained since last fall. Before you leave home, it is suggested that you always carry a first aid kit in your car and bring the Ten Essentials with you on the trail, even if you are only going out for the day.

Ten Essentials for the outdoors:

  • Navigation: map, compass, altimeter, GPS device, personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite messenger
  • Headlamp or flashlight: plus, extra batteries
  • Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen
  • First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
  • Knife: plus, a gear repair kit
  • Fire: matches, lighter, tinder and/or stove
  • Shelter: carried at all times (can be a light emergency bivy)
  • Extra food: Beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra water: Beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra clothes: Beyond the minimum expectation

We want to thank all of the first responders and many volunteers that helped with this response:

  • Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue
  • Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue
  • Portland Mountain Rescue

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue program is a 100% volunteer organization, comprised of approximately 50 very dedicated, trained volunteers, including both youth and adults. MCSO SAR is recruiting new members. Click here if you would like to learn more about MCSO SAR.

Portland Mountain Rescue is one of the many mountain rescue units in the country that function under the auspices of the international Mountain Rescue Association (MRA). These subsidiary units, like Portland Mountain Rescue, consist of a volunteer group of highly skilled climbers and enthusiastic support resources that are dedicated to getting people out of trouble in mountainous and high-angle areas. Click here if you would like to learn more about PMR.

Reporters interested in interviewing a Portland Mountain Rescue member can do so by contacting the MCSO PIO.

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One injured in Fairview shooting Monday morning, investigation ongoing - 04/26/21

On Monday, April 26, 2021, at approximately 1:13 a.m., Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies responded to reports of shots fired in a parking lot located in the 22700 block of NE Halsey Street in Fairview. When deputies arrived, they located an adult male with a gunshot injury. The man was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He is expected to survive.

Witnesses reported seeing multiple vehicles leaving the scene immediately after the shooting. No arrests have been made.

The investigation is ongoing, and no further comment will be made at this time.

If anyone has information or surveillance video that may have captured the incident, please call the MCSO Tip Line at 503-988-0560 and reference case number 21-20382.

Letter to community from Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese on Chauvin verdict - 04/20/21

Statement from Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese:

Today, by a jury of his peers, former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts for the murder of George Floyd. While the verdict will never bring back George Floyd, it provides a measure of closure to his family, friends and the greater community. The systems of accountability worked, holding an individual, who worked within that very system, responsible for their criminal actions.

As I shared with you following Floyd’s death in May 2020, I condemn the actions of Derek Chauvin and the actions of other officers for failing to intervene. Floyd’s death should have never happened.

At the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, we believe in the sanctity of life and treating everyone with dignity and respect. We have a moral responsibility to protect people in our custody from harm. The actions by Derek Chauvin and additional officers go against our training and our code of ethics.

As Multnomah County Sheriff, I remain committed to examining our policies and protocols to ensure they are considered best practices and that they reinforce equity now and in the future. In early April, I published an open letter to the community detailing the actions MCSO has taken over the past year to answer your calls for reform and provide the very best public safety services to the communities we serve. This work will continue, because Black lives matter in Multnomah County.

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MCSO Search & Rescue responds to multiple calls over the weekend - 04/19/21

Hikers took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather this past weekend. Deputies noted a sharp increase of visitors at lakes, rivers and trails in and around the Columbia River Gorge. This made for a busy weekend for members of the Multnomah County Search & Rescue team.

On Saturday, MCSO SAR gathered for scheduled training at 8 a.m. at Multnomah Falls. Teams performed a series of simulated searches on the trails near the popular waterfall. The SAR coordinator, an MCSO deputy, led the training from an incident command base established in the parking lot off I-84, (photo 1 & 2).

During training, around 5:15 p.m., dispatchers received an emergency medical call for a 50-year-old hiker experiencing a heart attack. The hiker was at the top of Angel’s Rest in Bridal Veil, approximately two miles from the trailhead. The coordinator called for some SAR members to return and respond to assist Corbett firefighters. It was reported that three people, not associated with the hiker, were doctors from a local hospital and had begun chest compressions after recognizing the man was unresponsive.

As this event unfolded, dispatchers received a second medical call for a 72-year-old hiker who had become lost and tired while hiking near Wahkeena Falls. As SAR members diverted to the medical calls, it was reported that the 72-year-old was able to return to the trailhead with SAR members close by to assist if needed. He was evaluated by paramedics staged at the trailhead.

SAR members continued to Angel’s Rest. During their response, they learned the 50-year-old hiker did not survive, despite valiant efforts by the medical professionals. The response transitioned from a rescue to a recovery.

A SAR team hiked to the Angel’s Rest viewpoint with a wheeled stokes basket. At about 9:39 p.m., SAR members reached the location and loaded the deceased hiker into the basket. SAR members carefully hiked out, over rocks and around steep switchbacks, in the dark and after spending most of the day hiking with full packs on. Just before 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, SAR members reached the trailhead, where they met the Multnomah County Medical Examiner. After nearly 24 hours on the trail, SAR members were relieved.

MCSO SAR Coordinator Sgt. Keith Bybee on MCSO SAR: “They never fail to impress me. No matter the situation, they always rise to the challenge. We’re proud to have such a dedicated team of volunteers at the ready.”

At approximately 12:25 a.m. Monday morning, dispatchers took a report for three missing people, a 31-year-old man and his two nieces, ages 11 and 16. The caller stated that her brother and her two daughters left Salem around 10 a.m. Sunday to visit Multnomah Falls and had not returned home. The caller stated the family members were not prepared to stay overnight.

Deputies began checking all trailheads in the Columbia River Gorge from Troutdale to Hood River. The Hood River Sheriff’s Office was also notified. At 2:12 a.m., an MCSO deputy located the man’s car at the closed snow gate on E. Larch Mountain Road. Because the three hikers were not prepared to stay overnight, MCSO Search & Rescue was activated for a second major search, (photo 3 and 4). Before SAR members deployed, a Gresham police officer assisting deputies located the missing hikers on the road approximately one mile east of the snow gate. They were cold and hungry, but not injured.

The 31-year-old man told deputies they planned to hike to Multnomah Falls and return to their car at the snow gate. On the way back to the car, they took the wrong trail. When it got dark, they stopped for the night to stay warm and waited until daylight to continue. He also stated that he used a map application on his smartphone for directions to Multnomah Falls. The app sent him to Larch Mountain. This is the third group in two weeks that deputies have helped who have used maps apps for directions to Multnomah and Wahkeena Falls. Search & Rescue coordinators advise against relying on smartphones for directions and urge visitors to research the area prior to leaving home and to use a current paper map if possible.

While spring and summer like weather continues, many trails are still snow covered and have not been cleared or maintained since last fall. Before you leave home, it is suggested that you always carry a first aid kit in your car and bring the Ten Essentials with you on the trail, even if you are only going out for the day.

Ten Essentials for hiking:

  • Navigation: map, compass, altimeter, GPS device, personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite messenger
  • Headlamp or flashlight: plus, extra batteries
  • Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen
  • First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
  • Knife: plus, a gear repair kit
  • Fire: matches, lighter, tinder and/or stove
  • Shelter: carried at all times, (can be a light emergency bivy)
  • Extra food: Beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra water: Beyond the minimum expectation
  • Extra clothes: Beyond the minimum expectation

We want to thank all of the first responders and many volunteers that helped with these responses:

  • Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue
  • Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue
  • Hood River County Sheriff's Office
  • Corbett Fire Department
  • AMR
  • Mountain Wave Communications

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue program is a 100% volunteer organization, comprised of approximately 50 very dedicated, trained volunteers, including both youth and adults. MCSO SAR is recruiting new members. Click here if you would like to learn more about MCSO SAR.

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Deputies investigate shooting at Troutdale motel - 04/15/21

On Thursday, April 15, 2021, at approximately 2:46 a.m., Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office patrol deputies responded to a report of a shooting at the Motel 6 in Troutdale. When deputies arrived, they located the victim, an adult male, with gunshot wounds. Deputies also found evidence of gunfire. The victim was transported to the hospital by ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect, also an adult male, left the motel prior to the arrival of deputies. Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies searched the area, but the suspect was not located. At this time, no arrests have been made.

During the investigation, detectives learned that prior to the shooting the suspect and victim engaged in an argument. The two men did not know each other.

Because this was an isolated case, deputies do not believe the public is in any danger. The investigation is ongoing, and no further comment will be made at this time.

If anyone has information about this case, please call the MCSO Tip Line at 503-988-0560 and reference case 21-18590.

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