Body recovered from Willamette River in NW Portland believed to be missing UP student

Owen Klinger, photo released by Portland Police Bureau

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - A body recovered from the Willamette River in northwest Portland on Sunday afternoon is believed to be missing University of Portland student Owen Klinger, according to his family.

The Portland Police Bureau reported Monday that the body was found in the area of the 9400 block of Northwest St. Helens Road near the St. Johns Bridge at 12:57 p.m. Sunday.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office River Patrol Unit recovered the body and turned it over to the medical examiner. 

Police did not release the identity of the body or any further details, but Klinger’s family issued a statement Monday evening saying they have been contacted by officers.

"Portland police have notified us that they have recovered a body that we believe is our son, Owen Klinger. We deeply appreciate the extraordinary effort and support that thousands of people have provided over the past two weeks. We now ask for privacy as we move forward with our healing process,” according to a family statement.

Students at the University of Portland were just learning of the tragic update Monday afternoon.

“It’s really devastating,” student Kaitlyn Gibson said. “He’s part of the community, so that does hit hard.”

The Pilot community has rallied around hope the past two weeks – holding vigils and joining search parties, as Klinger’s desperate parents and friends looked for him.

With the search over, questions still remain. Police haven’t shared details about the body or whether the death may have been suspicious.

Klinger was last seen on the University of Portland campus leaving Christie Hall on Oct. 6.

TriMet surveillance video released by the Portland Police Bureau last week showed Klinger crossing North Portsmouth Avenue at Willamette Boulevard the night of Oct. 6.

Investigators said he had withdrawn $150 from an ATM that night. His phone was also turned off around that time.

Klinger’s family, friends and volunteers had scoured the area around campus and beyond looking for him.

The University of Portland also released a statement Monday evening, saying in part, “May we pray for Owen’s eternal rest, for consolation for his family and friends and for abiding hope within our university community.” 

Portland police say they are waiting for a medical examiner’s report before making a positive identification on the body. That update is expected on Tuesday.  


Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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(6) comments

Terrell Higgs

Wow this hurts, can't imagine what the family is going through, I was looking for him as well, terrible, I pray for the family


I wonder what the 150.00 was for. IF he was going to commit suicide, why the need for money?


Exactly. Maybe more will be found after the autopsy. Either way, this is sad for him and especially for his family.

Just curious

Maybe he was shoved off the bridge?

Maybe he wasn't planning to take a dive.


Maybe he didn't drown.

Did he still have the money on him?

Was he still wearing the same clothes that he had on when he left his apartment?

I am sending condolences to the his family..

Dr Jim

A St. John's bridge jumper? Very sad.


This is awful. Hopefully, well, what can be hopeful at this juncture except that he didn't suffer.

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