Volunteers had helped search for Chase Hove in 2017
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Remains found by a hiker south of Deschutes River Woods 10 days ago have been positively identified as those of a Bend man whose disappearance nearly three years ago prompted extensive volunteer searches, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
Chase Hove was reported as a missing person to Bend police in June 2017, sheriff’s Sgt. William Bailey noted.
A gun was found with Hove’s remains, Bailey said, and the case is being investigated as a suicide.
A hiker reported finding the skeletal remains on Feb. 17 while hiking on U.S. Forest Service land about a half-mile south of Deschutes River Woods, Bailey said.
Deputies and detectives began investigating the incident and said a state forensic anthropologist would examine the remains in an attempt to determine the identity and cause of death.
Hove last was seen on June 5, 2017 in northeast Bend, a few days before his 27th birthday. His car was found not long after, on the south side of town.
Hove’s family had confirmed earlier this week that his remains were found.
“With heaviest of hearts, we found out our sweet boy is in heaven,” his mother, Tammie, said in a posting to the Facebook page “Find Chase Hove.”
“Our hearts are broken, but our family is strong,” she said. “We want to thank our community, family and friends for continued support. His beautiful soul will not be forgotten.”
Hove’s family said Chase had been struggling with mental health issues.
Whitney Schumacher, Deschutes County’s suicide prevention coordinator, said, “Suicide is a devastating public health issue. It’s important to remember that suicide is a very complicated act and that no single thing causes someone to die by suicide.
"We all can help prevent suicide in Central Oregon. Make sure people you love know about available suicide prevention resources,” Schumacher added.
If you or someone you love is thinking about suicide, call the Deschutes County Crisis Line at 541-322-7500 Option 9. You can also call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Central Oregon suicide prevention resources are available at: www.preventsuicideco.org/local-resources/.