Skip to Content

Authorities ID man whose remains were found near Hwy. 242 snow gate west of Sisters; foul play not suspected

KTVZ file

(Update: Man's name released)

SISTERS, Ore.  (KTVZ) – A small group of mushroom hunters discovered a man's remains near the snow gate on state Highway 242 (the McKenzie Pass Highway) west of Sisters on Saturday afternoon, and a subsequent investigation has found no signs of foul play, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said Monday.

On Tuesday, they said they had confirmed the man's identity as Marcus Ryan Kawano, 44.

Deputies were dispatched shortly before 1 p.m. to the site of the deceased man, Sergeant Jayson Janes said Monday. A death investigation soon began, with deputies and a deputy county medical examiner on scene to assist, and the District Attorney's Office also was involved, as they are in all death investigations.

"The investigation found no evidence of foul play," Janes said.

Sgt. Doug Sullivan said Kawano was a transient who moved around the area “quite a bit,” but last was known to be residing in the Sisters area. His body was found within 200 feet of the highway, in the area of an old lava flow.

“It appears it was some kind of fall” that claimed the man’s life, probably several weeks ago, Sullivan said, adding that there was "nothing suspicious" found at the scene, or any sign of a "criminal event" or danger to the public.

Author Profile Photo

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.



  1. “200 feet of the highway,?” Come on Barney. I simply do not understand how YOU don’t read over what you write or hand it to someone who knows how to spell words and write in complete sentences. It’s embarrassing, Barney. This is Bend in the year 2022, not 1978.

    1. gluten, it boggles the mind that you have so little else in your life that you have to be obnoxious and condescending for no reason (the wording was right, you read it wrong). Kinda pathetic.

    2. And you sound like a real arrogant person there Glutenghost. Personally, as a 52-year resident of Central Oregon, I am damn tired of people like you with nothing better to do then criticize people. Barney, well written article. Sad end to a life. Dying alone on a lava field near a highway. My prayers are with his family.

  2. glutenghost, is the one person driving a 1972 Datsun pickup doing 46 mph on the parkway in the left lane of life blaming the rest of the world for his problems.

  3. I’m always baffled that investigators can conclude there was no foul play in cases like this. Since he apparently fell, there must have been a cliff or drop-off. How do the authorities know that he was not thrown off by one, or more, people? After a few weeks, absent other evidence, there would be no signs of a struggle, and being tossed off a cliff. A real investigation would have involved tracing his movements before the estimated time of death, who he was associated with, anybody who had a beef with him, etc. That is what would have been done with a ‘respected’ citizen who was inexplicably found dead out in the woods. But, since he was homeless, no investigation was done. There is definitely a double standard going on here.

    1. flashsteve, why does there need to be “Since he apparently fell, there must have been a cliff or drop-off.”? I have traveled many a mile on lava flows, falling is very easy, and striking your head is very very easy to do. He could have broken a leg, busted a rib into a lung, snapped a bone into a major artery, and bled out, knocked out, and froze to death, so many ways to be incapacitated on a lava flow besides being knocked off or thrown off a cliff. You are just looking for an excuse to be a “victim” of some sort or the next.

      1. To fall sufficient todie takes significant force, something like at least a 20′ drop-off onto rocks. Probably a lot more, since, when he died, the ground was covered with snow. All the scenarios that you suggested would take at least a good autopsy, which was not done in this case. There was not enough time to have done more than a cursory one. I have no agenda like you suggested, other than my observation that if he was upstanding citizen, it would have taken weeks for a conclusion to be reached.

Leave a Reply

Skip to content