Quest to find Hillsboro man still focuses on western Washington County

Thirteen days after Ryan Horn disappeared, the search for the 28-year-old Hillsboro man continued to focus on logging roads near Banks and Vernonia Tuesday, including areas in the Tillamook Forest off Highways 26, 6 and 47.

But as the quest to locate Horn entered its second week with few clues as to his whereabouts, family members struggled to remain optimistic.

“The hardest thing is that you start the day with a plan, but by evening it gets really hard,” said Horn’s mother, Michele Haynes of Hillsboro. “When the sun goes down and we know we didn’t receive any solid leads, that’s very, very difficult.”

Over the weekend, friends and family distributed 500 fliers emblazoned with Horn’s picture and vital statistics — 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, brown hair, blue eyes — and a description of his red 2002 Ford Ranger truck, which bears Oregon license plate 806 FFR.

Family and professional investigators are cautioning individuals not to search forested areas alone.

“People don’t realize how really remote it gets up there,” said Haynes. “The roads can be tricky when you don’t know the area. It really isn’t the best use of people’s time, and we don’t want anyone to get hurt.”

Instead, she’s asking folks keep an eye out for Horn’s red truck — and maintain positive thoughts. Haynes tries not to get distracted by thoughts of other missing persons, including former Skyline Elementary School student Kyron Horman, whose disappearance in 2010 was national news. To date, the youth has not been found.

Thoughts of “little Kyron,” she said, “just grip our hearts so hard.”

Her son, who recently received a promotion at Hillsboro-based Genentech Inc., is “very much loved and missed” by his siblings and parents, Haynes added. “We’re a close family, and Ryan was not estranged from us — just the opposite.”

Horn, who suffers from bipolar disorder and was divorced over the summer, left the home he shared with his mother around mid-morning on Aug. 29. He is believed to be carrying his supply of prescription medication and a handgun. When last seen, he was wearing dark “skinny” jeans and a gray hooded jacket.

Haynes and Ryan’s sister, Jessica Bledsoe of Cornelius, have been posting daily updates on a Facebook page called “Missing Person — Ryan Horn.”

Det. Marth Bual of the Hillsboro Police Department said Monday that two theories had risen to the surface.

One is that Horn fled the area after “somehow acquiring cash” to keep people from tracking him electronically. “He could have been stashing money with the intent of going off the grid,” Bual said. “That would just point to him being upset and leaving home.”

The other possibility is that Horn has hurt himself — but Bual prefers not to dwell on that.

“It’s my hope that if he’s still driving around, he’ll return home and face his family,” Bual said. “We’ve focused our search west of Hillsboro. We’re still looking at leads and following up wherever we can.”

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