Search suspended for Bethany teen missing after duck hunt
The search for a missing teenager from the Bethany area was suspended Sunday after he disappeared while duck hunting on the Columbia River.
KOIN 6 News reports that Riley Salisbury's love of wildlife is what drew him to the Columbia River. He hunted for ducks with his dad and brothers and took on wildlife taxidermy projects and drawing detailed sketches of birds.
"Pages and pages and pages, so this was very important to him, so he did this taxidermy and he loved every minute of it," his mother, Loralee, said.
Riley, 19, was hunting with his dad, Todd, and younger brother Saturday near Karlson, Russian and Minraker Islands.
Riley had paddled a few minutes away from his dad and younger brother in a small boat but when they went to find him, he had vanished.
"At that point in time I became alarmed," Todd said Sunday evening. "We didn't see the boat, we didn't see him."
Todd called 911 and a massive search by air and water began.
Crews from the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office and Coast Guard searched Saturday evening and through the night but were not able to find Riley.
The found Riley's gun on Karlson Island and his boat was floating about a mile away from Russian Island with his bag and cell phone still inside.
"It was literally like someone picked him straight up out of his position and carried him away because there was no sign off any type of struggle," Todd said.
The Coast Guard said they searched by helicopter and boat for 19 hours but the search was suspended Sunday night with no plans for an official search Monday.
"He's still missing and they found the boat and the gun and it's fully loaded and so I don't know what happened," Loralee said. "Maybe he put down the gun to go catch the boat before it floated away and he didn't quite get it, or I don't know, but still the point is he's still not here."
Todd and Loralee thanked those who came out to help in the search, from the Coast Guard to the 911 operator who personally came to the docks to support them.
The Salisburys said while authorities have suspended their search, they hope other hunters, fishermen or boaters will keep a eye out for their son. He was wearing waders and a fleece camouflage top.
"It would be really great if I could at least have closure," Loralee said. "Even though I know the situation didn't turn out good, but if we could have closure that would be nice."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.