The search for a local resident, missing for several weeks and possibly suffering from dementia, came to a sad end last week on the Oregon coast.
Dundee native Robert Donough, 74, was found deceased July 10 in the coast range east of Newport, according to a press release from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. Donough was reported missing by his wife on June 26 after she spoke with him on the phone and he said he was in Newport. It was later determined that he had been seen at a market in the coastal community 86 miles southwest of Dundee.
Law enforcement officials pinged Donough's cell phone later that day and determined he was near Highway 20 and the town of Toledo, which is southeast of Newport. Officers from the Newberg-Dundee Police Department determined that Donough was driving a red 2000 Ford Ranger pick-up and began aiding in the search for the vehicle.
Three units from the sheriff's office, in conjunction with an employee of Weyerhauser, which owns timber land in the area, began searching for the pick-up to the south of Highway 20.
"They searched that day and nothing was found regarding the vehicle and there was no further cell phone information that could be obtained to help give a location," the release said.
On July 3, according to the release, mountain bikers discovered Donough's pick-up in the forest near Deer Creek Road off Highway 20 just south of the town of Eddyville. Utilizing articles found in the truck, the mountain bikers searched for Donough's name on the Internet and determined that he was missing. They called the NDPD and reported the location of the vehicle. In turn, the NDPD notified the sheriff's office, who activated a search and rescue team at 6:30 p.m. that day. The team searched until 3:30 a.m. the following day before suspending the effort due to treacherous terrain and thick vegetation.
"Several clues were found during that search and it was confirmed with his family that those items did belong to Robert Donough," the release said.
The search resumed on July 4 and continued for roughly 11 hours with no sign of Donough and no additional clues of his whereabouts.
On July 5, the sheriff's office employed canine search teams from surrounding counties.
"Eight dogs and their handlers, along with support personnel and ground searchers, arrived at the command post set up by (sheriff's office) search and rescue on Harlan Road at mile post 13.5," the release said. "Dog teams were strategically deployed into the area to help look for Mr. Donough. However, (they) were unsuccessful in picking up on a track."
On July 10, the county search and rescue team returned to the area with two dog teams and a handful of searchers to re-examine areas already searched.
"After sending the dogs through the area and having them come up empty, they were released to return home with several searchers remaining in the field looking around at different roads and for any type of activity by wildlife," the release said.
Several hours later the searchers came across a body just west of the initial search area.
"A deceased body was located on a logging road in the tall grass," the release said. "If was confirmed by photo identification as Robert Donough. There were no signs of criminal activity; all indications show Mr. Donough died of natural causes."
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