PMR joins others in search for missing 8 year old at Crater Lake

Friday, October 20, 2006

On the afternoon of Saturday, October 14th  eight year old Samuel Boehlke was last seen by his father in the vicinity of Cleetwood Cove on Crater Lake’s Rim Drive.  A search was begun that evening by National Park staff.  The search for the missing child expanded in subsequent days until, at its peak, it involved more than 250 professional and volunteer SAR personnel from various parts of the country.  To date no trace has been found of the boy.

A team of four from Portland Mountain Rescue joined the search at 6:30 AM Monday morning after an all night drive.  Conditions, which had been good when the child first disappeared, had deteriorated dramatically, and Crater Lake was in the midst of an early season snowstorm.  The team spent the morning searching from the base of the cliffs down to the lake’s shore.  The afternoon, and following day, was spent grid-searching timbered terrain.  Fortunately, the weather began to improve.

The initial team of four left the search on Tuesday and was replaced by a second team of six PMR volunteers on Thursday the 18th.  With hope for a positive outcome waning, this group focused on steep, technical terrain along the caldera rim.  By the end of the day, with no clues found, the Park Service’s Incident Command began curtailing the search and the PMR group was demobilized.

This remains an unresolved missing person case, but with more snow in the forecast, it appears unlikely that any evidence will present itself until Spring.