THURSTON COUNTY: Man goes missing near Deschutes River
THE NEWS TRIBUNE
Published: 02/21/1012:05 am
no picture available at linkThurston County authorities spent Saturday looking for a man who disappeared while camping along the Deschutes River.
Jeff H. Nelson, 20, disappeared while camping with friends in the Deschutes Falls area, said Lt. Paul Counts of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
Counts said Nelson and his friends went to bed about 11 p.m. Friday. On Saturday morning Nelson was gone, although his sleeping bag and other belongings were still there.
Friends and family members searched all day Saturday. Counts said the Sheriff’s Office launched its search-and-rescue efforts Saturday afternoon.
About 30 volunteers were looking for Nelson, who is 5 feet 9 and white. A Washington State Patrol aircraft also was involved in the search.
Counts said the team planned to continue searching overnight.
David Wickert, staff writer
Last edited by summer_breeze; 02-24-2010 at 10:54 PM.
Posted: 3:40 am PST February 22, 2010
Updated: 3:48 am PST February 22, 2010
NEAR YELM, Wash. -- Searchers will decide Monday morning whether to resume searching for a man missing from a camping trip.
Jeff Nelson was camping with friends at Deschutes Falls County park near Yelm on Friday night, a spokesman for the Thurston County Sheriff's Department told KIRO 7.
Nelson was last seen late Friday night. When his friends woke up on Saturday morning, Nelson had disappeared, although his sleeping bag and belongings were still at the campsite.
Thurston county search and rescue teams, including a dive team, searching the area and portions of the Deschutes River.
The area where the campers spent the night is dangerous, due to the steep cliffs along the river and near the Deschutes Falls. Police told KIRO 7 that the park is not open to the public.
Police think Nelson may have gotten up during the night and fallen into the river.
Police will meet Monday morning to decide if the search for Nelson will resume.
Teams scour area for missing man
search: Some fear he fell from cliff at Deschutes Falls
VENICE BUHAIN; Staff writer | • Published February 22, 2010
Searchers combed the Deschutes River and the surrounding woods in a long-closed park over the weekend after a Rainier man was reported missing Saturday.
The missing man, Jeff H. “Jay” Nelson Jr., 20, and some friends were camping at Deschutes Falls County Park, a wooded property that has been closed to the public since the 1990s.
Nelson was last seen by his friends Friday night. When the camping party awoke Saturday morning they could not find Nelson, who had gone to sleep on an outcropping that overlooks a steep drop, said Thurston County sheriff’s Lt. Paul Counts.
“It’s not set up for public use,” Counts said. “There are no rails, no facilities. It’s a cliff.”
Nelson was last seen in a camouflage snowsuit, which might have made it difficult for him to escape the Deschutes River if he fell in, Counts said. Friday’s overnight low temperature was listed as 25 degrees at the Olympia Airport.
Thurston County search and rescue crews, including the Thurston County dive team, searched the pools Sunday morning below the falls where Nelson might have fallen. Nelson’s friends and family and other onlookers watched from the opposite cliff.
Nelson’s friends and family searched the area Saturday morning after discovering his abandoned bedroll. They called the Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, and they continued to return to the area to search or watch Sunday.
A message from The Olympian passed to Nelson’s father through a family member was not returned Sunday night.
Counts said land searches have turned up no clues as to where Nelson might have gone. A State Patrol helicopter also surveyed the area Saturday evening with a heat-sensing device but found no trace of him.
The park has been closed for at least 15 years. From the 1940s to 1983, the private park was owned by William L. Pollman. The park land was purchased by Thurston County in the 1990s, but the park has been closed to the public for years, and no public facilities are maintained on the property.
Counts said that the park is monitored, and it is not unusual to find people or signs of visitors, although visitors who are on the county land are trespassing.
To get to the campsite of Nelson and his friends, the campers would have had to cross private land owned by the Weyerhaeuser Co., Counts said.
Counts said that Thurston County sheriff’s deputies were unsure how many people were camping with Nelson and whether there was alcohol involved.
“It’s been a challenge to locate people who were with him, and who might know where he was last night and what state he might have been in,” Counts said. “They were young people doing what young people do.”
Venice Buhain: 360-754-5445
Story Published: Feb 22, 2010 at 7:34 AM PST
Story Updated: Feb 22, 2010 at 9:08 AM PST
By KOMO Staff
YELM, Wash. -- Search and rescue coordinators are gathering Monday morning to decide whether to continue the search for a 20-year-old man who vanished on a camping trip over the weekend.
Jeff H. "Jay" Nelson disappeared Friday night while camping in the Deschutes Falls area, said Lt. Paul Counts, search coordinator with the Thurston County Sheriff's Office.
Counts said Nelson and his friends went to bed after setting up an impromptu campsite on a ledge above the Deschutes River.
On Saturday morning Nelson was gone, although his sleeping pad and other gear were still there.
It's now believed Nelson might have rolled off the ledge where the group was camping and into the water.
Story Published: Feb 22, 2010 at 7:34 AM PST
Story Updated: Feb 22, 2010 at 11:37 AM PST
By KOMO Staff
YELM, Wash. -- Search and rescue coordinators on Monday resumed efforts to locate a 20-year-old man who vanished on a camping trip over the weekend, but officials say they are now treating the matter as a recovery operation and no longer a rescue mission.
Land search for missing camper called off
Published: 02/23/1012:00 am | Updated: 02/23/10 7:29 am
The upper and lower pools of Deschutes Falls were searched Monday for clues in the disappearance of a camper who has been missing since Saturday morning.
Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 1:00 PM PST
The Thurston County Dive Team is continuing its search for Jeff "Jay" Nelson, 20, who went missing Saturday at Deschutes Falls, near Yelm.
The dive team began its search Sunday and has searched the falls and areas up and down stream from where Nelson was last seen camping.
Police believe Nelson may have fallen off a 60-foot cliff sometime in the night.
The team is searching the same area using different technology today, Lt. Greg Elwin said.
Posted on February 24, 2010 at 5:55 PM
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The body of a Thurston County camper who had been missing for days has been found.
Twenty-year-old Jay Nelson vanished early Saturday morning after he slipped into the waters of the Deschutes River.
Firefighters say Nelson most likely fell asleep on a rock outcropping during a campout with friends.
Search teams launched a helicopter and plane and brought in search dogs, but failed to find him.
Late Wednesday, Nelson's body was found along the banks of the river.
Thanks for keeping this thread updated for Jeff, summer_breeze.
May he rest in peace.
Oh, I am so sorry to read about Jeff's body being found. What a terribly sad ending....I send my sympathies to Jeff's family and friends. What a handsome young man he was....
What a shame! I hope this is all on the up and up. For some reason my hinky meter's going off.