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Missing Prineville woman found deceased in Idaho, at end of former logging road

Betty Counts
Jena Usher
Betty Counts

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – An 83-year-old Prineville woman whose disappearance nearly two months ago sparked a wide-ranging search effort that involved the FBI has been found deceased at the end of a former logging road in Idaho, police said Sunday.

The Benewah County, Idaho, Sheriff’s Office informed Prineville police on Friday that they had located Betty Counts in her car at the end of the former logging road in that county, Sergeant Rob Gray said.

“Betty’s passing did not appear suspicious, and no foul play is suspected,” Gray said in a news release.

“Although this is a devastating blow to the family and a tragic ending, it is good the family can have closure in this case,” the sergeant added.

“The Prineville Police Department offers our condolences to the family for their loss,” he said. “Numerous leads were chased down in this case as tips came in by multiple agencies. The Prineville Police Department would like to thank all of the citizens that provided tips, and the FBI for their assistance.”

Counts had driven away from her Prineville home after an argument with her husband. She last was seen in Washington state and had not been heard from since July 4th. In the ensuing weeks, family members had hired a private investigator to help try to find her.

KTVZ news sources



  1. So sad. I remember the story of this beautiful lady and her driving away… SO sorry it ended this way. RIP Betty. You were loved by many and will always be remembered.

  2. This happens far to often. Folks, take the keys from a loved one that you know in your heart shouldn’t be driving. Or, report them (confidentially if you want) to the DMV.

  3. There needs to be some form of tracker that can be placed on cars to locate them in situations like this. It should be automatically incorporated into the construction of cars.

    1. There are trackers, they are built into many newer cars, and cellphones can also be tracked with an app. It’s all about thinking about these possibilities ahead of time, before an emergency happens.

  4. Maybe someone could tell me why it is necessary to mention that she left after an argument with her husband. How carefully has that been verified? Seems like a not-so-subtle attempt to blame him for her disappearance .

      1. I looked at the previous two stories. The first one mentions a ‘minor argument’..the second one says ‘argument’. The first one actually shows pictures of the couple appearing quite loving, and his efforts to talk her into returning home. I’m sure my point is obvious, and not that big a deal, but getting left with the impression of a unpleasant relationship seems to discount the fact that they lived a long life together. This final article could easily have been edited, leaving that argument out, and including some of the more important parts of their lives together.

        1. I can’t say as I disagree with you. At this point that detail seems at best insignificant, and at worst, hurtful to include. I hope he now has closure—and that’s a good thing, but such a sad way to lose the love of your life.

        2. The media thrives on reporting such details even if it hurts those left behind tremendously. There are good reporters out there, but if they don’t include hurtful details they don’t get ahead as reporters.

  5. I was worrie3d about that when someone in eastern Oregon found her little dog roaming around. She loved that little dog and would not have just dumped it.

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