Family grateful for compassion of Oregonians at time of need
This is a thank you letter to all the wonderful people in Oregon who took my sister, Diana Bober, and my family into their hearts last month, after she was reported missing and then found to have been killed by a cougar.
• To Gresham Police Department Officer Brian Hollenbeck, Public Information Officer Ben Costigan, and Records Clerks Tara Trickel and Lorri Kelly, who were instrumental in taking seriously my family's concerns that my sister was missing and in trouble; got the first word out on the wires; and located my sister's car at the Zigzag Ranger Station in their off hours.
• To the independent businesses in Damascus and Boring, who posted the missing person flyer for us.
• To Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy Adam Peterson, who was a thorough investigator as well as a compassionate presence to my family throughout the search and recovery process.
• To Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy John Wildhaber, who helped process my sister's car when it was located, and who offered us kind words of condolence on our last day in Oregon.
• To the U.S. Forest Service rangers who worked with the investigation and search and recovery teams.
• To Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Deputy Scott Meyers, whose professional expertise and gentle manner with my family impressed us throughout the search and recovery process.
• To Scott Lucas, Oregon State Search and Rescue coordinator, and Sgt. Sean Collinson, Clackamas County Search and Rescue coordinator, for their tireless efforts heading up the search and rescue teams.
• To the volunteer teams who selflessly contributed their time and resources to locating and recovering my sister, including Mountain Wave SAR, Pacific Northwest SAR, Hood River County Sheriff's Office, Crag Rats, Portland Mountain Rescue, American Medical Response, Hoodland Fire Department, Oregon Air National Guard, and other ground, air, and basecamp support, military, communications, and K-9 teams.
• To Clackamas County Public Information Officer Brian Jensen, who helped my family communicate with the local media.
• To the local media who covered the search and were instrumental in encouraging citizens with vital information to contact the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office:
• Kellee Azar, Keaton Thomas, Valerie Hurst, Catherine Van, and other reporters, camera operators, editors, and producers at KATU (ABC-2);
• Haley Rush, Sarah Hurwitz, and other reporters, camera operators, editors, and producers at KPTV (FOX-12);
• Mike Benner and other reporters, camera operators, editors, and producers at KGW-TV (NBC-8);
• Jennifer Dowling, Velena Jones, and other reporters, camera operators, editors, and producers at KOIN (CBS-6);
• Lizzy Acker, Everton Bailey Jr., and other reporters, photographers, and editors at The Oregonian/Oregon Live;
• Matt DeBow and other reporters, photographers and editors at The Gresham Outlook/Portland Tribune.
• To Brian Wolfer, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Watershed Manager, and his team, including Derek Broman, ODFW Carnivore Coordinator, in a heroic two-week effort to keep the public safe by locating the cougar responsible for my sister's death, and who also kept my family informed of progress in a thorough and compassionate manner.
• To the Clackamas County Medical Examiner's office and Deputy M.E. Christopher Wright for their careful investigation of my sister's cause of death and their thoughtful communications with my family.
• To Sgt. Christopher Allori, Oregon State Police, and his team in a persistent and successful search for my sister's missing belongings to help fill in the story of her final day.
• To the Oregon State Bar, and to Bateman Carroll Funeral Home, whose advice and caring counsel helped make the after-death arrangements easier.
• Finally, to the citizens of Multnomah and Clackamas counties who expressed their concern and sorrow to us (including a couple who prayed with us in the parking lot of a McDonald's), and who shared vital information with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, thereby making it possible to locate my sister's body.
My family and I will never be able to express the depth of our gratitude to all the people who made our worries their own, and who came together to find out what had happened to my sister, bring her body home to her family, and protect the public. In the midst of a truly terrible week for us, the care and concern of the people of Oregon helped to give us strength and brought light into a dark situation.