CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR – After two men went missing in the Mount Hood National Forest and days of search efforts, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office confirms it found their car and recovered their bodies in the Collawash River on Saturday.
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office says a search and rescue team went looking for Kevin Shaver and Chase Villarreal on January 3 when they were reported missing.
The team responded to the Ripplebrook Ranger Station which is 25 miles east of Estacada along Highway 224.
Deputies say the two were last seen in their red Chevy Tahoe.
The next day on January 4, searchers found a car fully submerged in the Collawash River.
Searches found a dog along the bank of the river and were able to rescue it.
They recovered the car along with the bodies of Shaver and Villarreal on Saturday.
Shaver’s mother, Kathy Tope tells FOX 12 the two left on New Year’s day.
It wasn’t until Thursday she says something didn’t seem right as neither of them returned home.
She says Shaver and Villarreal were headed to Bagby Hot Springs in the Mount Hood National Forest to go camping in the snow.
She reminded them to be safe.
Exhausted after several days of barely any sleep searching for her son, Tope spoke with FOX over the phone on Saturday.
“Never even occurred to us that this would happen. Didn't even cross my mind,” Tope said. “We were driving around and we would see these crosses up there because there is a lot of dangerous roads and it would just make me sad to see all these crosses up there. You know how horrible for these people these people have lost people up here. And I'm like I don't want to be those people.”
Tope reflected on the things she told her son.
“He's the best son I could've asked for, he was successful, he was smart,” Tope said. “I just was telling him I'm so proud of you, I'm so proud of you. And I'm so glad that I did because so many parents have regrets that they don't tell their kids that enough, but I did.”
The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office says speed was a factor in the crash.
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