(Update: Community member finds missing man)
La PINE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A La Pine man whose disappearance sparked an extensive search in the woods on BLM land in La Pine on Saturday was found by a community member Saturday evening, cold but otherwise okay, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.
The community member found Darrell Ray Love, 56, in a wooded area east of Darlene Way, near La Pine, Lt. William Bailey said. He was evaluated by La Pine Fire medics for cold exposure, then reunited with family.
“The Sheriff’s Office greatly appreciates everyone that called in tips and assisted with locating Mr. Love today,” Bailey added.
Around 9:40 a.m. Saturday, a caller to 911 dispatchers said his son was missing, Lt. Bryan Husband said earlier.
The father and son live in separate trailers near one another on BLM land near Darlene Road and Forest Service Road 2205, Husband said. The father said he last saw Darrell around 4 p.m. Friday as he was walking from the father’s trailer back to his own.
Husband said it was not known if Love walked away from his trailer later or was picked up by someone else. One of his pit bull dogs has been missing for a few days, Husband said, and it’s possible he left to look for it. The man’s father said it was unusual for Darrell, who doesn’t own a cellphone, to be away from his trailer for this length of time.
DCSO patrol and search and Rescue deputies, along with U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement officers, searched the trailer and surrounding area but did not find Love, Husband said, noting that early-morning snow showers covered any potential tracks.
DCSO deputies deployed their drone to search surrounding roads and wooded areas, also without success. Other transient camps in the area were canvassed, but no one reported seeing Love. A sheriff’s office K-9 team also was called in to help in the search.