Friend of McMinnville man found in ravine: "I never expected he’ - KPTV - FOX 12

Friend of McMinnville man found in ravine: "I never expected he’d be found alive"

Posted: Updated:
David "Hoss" Hostetler's DMV photo. David "Hoss" Hostetler's DMV photo.
The American Legion in McMinnville, where Hostetler is a fixture. The American Legion in McMinnville, where Hostetler is a fixture.
MCMINNVILLE, OR (KPTV) -

It’s the best kind of ending you can hope for.

Days after a 74-year-old McMinnville man was reported missing, he was found alive at the bottom of a rural ravine he’d apparently fallen into.

David “Hoss” Hostetler is a fixture at the American Legion in McMinnville, where he arrives each morning to put out the flags and turn on the ‘open’ sign, his friends tell Fox 12.

They describe him as a Navy veteran, former jail commander and an intense creature of habit, always following the same routines, driving the same routes and running the same errands.

So when he said he was running an errand Friday and vanished, they knew immediately something was wrong.

“There’s not a square inch of this town we didn’t check,” said fellow Legion member and Hoss’s good friend Gene Hamilton.  “I called the Polk County Jail, Polk County Hospital, Lincoln County Jail, Lincoln County Hospital, Tillamook – I called everybody and no David Hostetler.  We had absolutely no idea where he was at.”

He was officially reported missing Saturday, but days passed without any clues.

Then Monday, a group of hunters happened to come across his car in a rural part of the forest in Tillamook County – more than an hour from home.

That sparked a massive search and rescue effort involving some 50 volunteers from various jurisdictions, but nothing more was found Monday.

Then “some personal items” of Hostetler’s were found by searchers along a spur road, concentrating the search.  He was found at the bottom of a steep ravine shortly thereafter and was flown to Salem Hospital where he remains in critical condition as of Wednesday evening.

“His core temperature was very, very low,” Hamilton said, having visited Hostetler in the hospital.  “The doctor told us even though he’s in critical condition he expects him to survive because he doesn’t have any major injuries.”

However, he has yet to regain consciousness, according to Hamilton.

But his friends at the Legion are hoping he’ll be able to return to put out the flags and turn on the ‘open’ sign.

“I never expected he’d be found alive,” Hamilton added.  “I told [police] this is a recovery, not a search, and they agreed.”

Copyright 2015 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly
FOX 12
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation, Portland, OR . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.