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Two Crook County searches end in success


Two Crook County Search and Rescue call-outs on Monday ended successfully with the parties found or turning up safe, officials said Tuesday.

Sheriff’s deputies took a report around 730 a.m. of a missing person-welfare check in the Southeast Bridge Creek area of Prineville, said Michael Ryan, emergency manager with the Crook County Sheriff’s Office.

They were told a 42-year-old man had walked away from his home with a possible medical issue, Ryan said.

SAR and deputies were called out and began a search. Around 11:30 a.m., deputies determined there was no medical need, and SAR personnel were recalled and the search discontinued, Ryan said. The man later returned to the home.

Around 9:30 p.m., Crook County SAR members were sent to the Walton Lake area on a report of two overdue hikers, Ryan said.

Search teams began their efforts at the North Walton lake trailhead, where a car belonging to one of the overdue hikers was found.

After confirming their direction of travel, search teams expanded the search area to the Round Mountain access road.

While shifting crews to that area SAR members found the missing couple on the FS 200 spur off the 42 Road, and both were in “good condition, cold and hungry,” Ryan said, adding that “neither individual was prepared for wilderness hiking.”

The pair were given food, water and blankets and taken back to their car.

In this case, the two let friends and family members know the general area they were heading for, Ryan said. “This was very important, as it gave Search and Rescue volunteers a general area to begin searching.”

“However, the sheriff’s office would like to remind everyone that this time of year, travel in the forest can still be very hazardous and treacherous,” the emergency manager said in a news release.

“Always plan ahead, tell someone the route you are planning on taking, and stick to that route,” Ryan said. “Always remember to bring a cellphone, food, water, clothing and blankets, in case you have to spend the night.”

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