Woman still missing at Crooked River Gorge

Share
Searchers spent hours in the canyon looking for Joellen Trenhaile, but were unable to find her.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Joellen TrenhaileSearchers have still not located a 60-year-old Redmond woman, Joellen Trenhaile, who is believed to have jumped off the foot bridge at the Crooked River Gorge just over a week ago.

The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office received a report May 1, at 10:32 a.m., that Joellen Trenhaile had contacted a family friend and reported that she was suicidal and was planning to jump into the Crooked River Gorge. Deputies responded to the Peter Skene Ogden Scenic Viewpoint State Park in Jefferson County, and located Trenhaile's vehicle at 10:38 a.m.

Deputies began a ground search of the park and asked for mutual aid from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, which provided a fixed wing aircraft and an unmanned aerial system for an air search and patrol deputies to assist in the ground search.

Deputies from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Special Services Unit and detectives from the DCSO Detective Division also responded to assist in the search for Trenhaile. During a search of the footbridge, Trenhaile's cell phone was located, which indicated she had likely jumped from the footbridge into the gorge, approximately 300 feet below.

On May 2, 17 volunteers from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Unit responded to the scene to conduct a search of the high probability areas in the water and riverbank, where Trenhaile's body would likely have been located. The volunteers included DCSO Search and Rescue members from the Mountain Rescue Unit and the Swift Water Rescue team. DCSO SAR members searched the water with sounding poles, in kayaks and teams on the ground searching the banks and surrounding areas.

In order to place DCSO SAR members into the search area, they were lowered 300 feet from the footbridge to the riverbank of the Crooked River. DCSO SAR members spent several hours searching and several more hours in lowering and raising personnel and equipment. The Crooked River currently has a high water flow, and visibility is poor due to spring runoff, making search conditions difficult and dangerous for SAR members.

Searchers were unable to locate Trenhaile's body, and the SAR members and their equipment were raised from the riverbank back up to the footbridge.

"At this time, it is believed Trenhaile's body could be located in any number of locations within several miles downstream of the Peter Skene Ogden Scenic Viewpoint State Park," noted Lt. Chad Davis, of the DCSO. "Due to the inherent risks of inserting personnel and equipment into the Crooked River Gorge, further searches will be in the form of aerial and visual searches from the canyon edge."

Trenhaile was described as a 5-foot, 6-inch tall white woman, weighing approximately 140 pounds, with short red hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a grey zip up sweatshirt, Wrangler blue jeans and tan hiking boots.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office through the nonemergency dispatch number of 541-693-6911.