Search resumes at Multnomah Falls for missing mom; deputies say - KPTV - FOX 12

Search resumes at Multnomah Falls for missing mom; deputies say still no signs of her

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Alissa McCrann Alissa McCrann

Improving weather conditions allow crews to resume their search for a missing mother up at Multnomah Falls on Saturday.

Alissa McCrann was reported missing to the Portland Police Bureau on Saturday December 19, 2015.  Her car was located on Tuesday December 22, 2015 in the Multnomah Falls I-84 parking lot, but she was nowhere to be found.

Deputies say the MCSO Green Hornet Wilderness Law Enforcement Services and Trail Rescue Team "Trail Hornets" recently conducted training in the area and noted improved conditions in the areas previously searched and a reduction in snow accumulations that hampered previous search efforts in the area. MCSO Search and Rescue Coordinators made the decision to coordinate a follow up search effort this weekend.

Deputies say some 60 volunteer searchers covered some 80 miles before heading home for the night. Despite their best efforts, we’re told they found no signs of McCrann.

One of the biggest clues to date in the search McCrann came from two hikers walking the trails above Multnomah Falls back in December, according to deputies. Hikers who say they talked to McCrann and even walked with her a bit on trail 441 that runs to the top of Larch Mountain.

“According to them, she asked how far to the top and they told her that she was not prepared and that the snow was too deep for what she was wearing,” said Multnomah County Deputy Keith Bybee. “So they turned her around, which according to them, she said ok, turned around and started jogging back down the trail.”

Multnomah County Deputy Keith Bybee ran the coordinated search for the missing mom day one at Multnomah Falls.  He says that information is driving where crews focused their efforts Saturday.  They've looked around that area before, he says, but it was covered in snow then.

Now that it's melted away, crews can search under brush and logs for spots she may have tried to find shelter.

“We were going through anything that looked different, or out of place,” said search and rescue volunteer Haley Paulson. “We were going in a big line, gridding up through the area to see if we could find anything.  We were just trying not to get too overwhelmed with the circumstances.”

Deputies say 3 K9's were also out on the trails along with volunteers on horseback who checked out back roads.  But, they uncovered no signs of McCrann anywhere. Deputies say they do plan to search again as soon as weather permits.

“When you don’t find her you step back and re-evaluate things and start playing more scenarios in your head,” said Deputy Bybee. “You think, ok, if she’s not here, where should we be looking next? That’s the challenge.”

Bybee says there are still some areas crews have yet to check out up at the higher elevations.  That's because snow is still knee deep in some places.  At this point, he says they'll likely hold off on searching there, until that melts off later in Spring. 

Search and Rescue teams from MCSO Search and Rescue, Pacific Northwest (PNW), WCSO SAR, Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR) along with Clackamas County SO Posse, two Mountain Wave HRD k9 teams, and a Clark County K9 HRD team are participating in search efforts today. Approximately sixty searchers are expected to be in the field today searching. Mountain Wave Communications is also on scene providing radio communications support for search teams.

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