Mother of Kevin McDowell pleads for help to find her son’s body

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 4:47 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) – Those who knew and loved Kevin McDowell said he was a light and lived his life in a way that always uplifted others.

“Eloquent, loving, giving, patient, he was, as he would say, ‘Mom it’s everything, it’s all love,’” Rhonda Jackson, Kevin’s mom, said.

“It’s all love” are the words Jackson said her son lived by.

“When you came around Kevin it was like you were getting a hug from them long arms. He was like ‘Everybody come in, let’s get all in, it’s all love,’” Jackson said. “My son was love, I know Christ is love but Christ was his hero -- he was just phenomenal.”

Jackson said her son made everyone feel like they were family.

“When you came around Kevin it was like you were getting a hug from them long arms he was like everybody come in, let’s get all in, it’s all love,” she said.

Tragically on June 26, Kevin was boating on the Columbia River near Lemon Island and jumped in to save a woman who was struggling to swim. In his final act, Kevin heroically saved her life, but sacrificed his own.

“He lifted her up and he pushed her up with all his might so that she could live,” Jackson said. “To say ‘was,’ hurts because I don’t have his body. He went in the water and he made sure she came up.”

Divers and rescuers from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office have been searching for Kevin but they still have not found him. The sheriff’s office says they will continue to search the area but that depends on call volume and staffing.

“I need to take my baby home so if there’s anybody, anybody out there that can help me bring my baby’s body home, that’s all I want,” Jackson said.

She is now asking and begging for her son’s body to be found. Jackson said she will not leave without her son.

“I just want to put him to rest. Can they please get my baby out of that water, it’s dark and it’s cold and I just want my baby, I just want to see him again,” she said. “I’m at peace but I just need the last piece of me so that I can go home.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family cover costs which can be found by clicking here.