Owen Klinger's parents: PPB misspoke on early details
The parents of missing University of Portland student Owen Klinger said the Portland Police Bureau got some facts wrong, including where their son was last seen.
Dustin and Mary Klinger spoke on the ongoing investigation into their son's disappearance during a press conference on Friday, Oct. 18.
Owen Klinger vanished on the evening of Sunday, Oct. 6 after he told his friends he was off to a team meeting.
The 18-year-old did not attend any team meetings, according to detectives, but instead withdrew money from a campus ATM and left campus around 7:50 p.m. that night.
Police originally said Owen turned his cellphone off after leaving the ATM but they corrected that statement on Friday, saying the phone has not been sending or receiving data.
"All we can say and all [the PPB] can say is that the phone is not sending or receiving calls or texts now," Mary said. "There's no way to tell if Owen turned it off or if it ran out of battery or if it's just out of range, or any of that."
Owen was last seen walking on North Willamette Boulevard near the intersection of North Portsmouth Avenue and North Lombard Street, police said.
Mary clarified on Friday, saying police had Owen's last known location wrong in the beginning. The PPB originally said Owen was last seen walking north on North Willamette Boulevard.
Police released video taken by a TriMet bus that was in the area of North Willamette Street and North Portsmouth Avenue on the night Owen disappeared. Officers said the video showed Owen was actually walking west on North Willamette Boulevard.
"The video shows Owen in a different place than they were claiming and that they based their big belief and theory on," Mary said. "The video of the bus shows Owen walking from campus, crossing Portsmouth and heading toward St. Johns."
Investigators said on Wednesday the teen had been watching videos on hopping trains as well as the movie "Into the Wild" before he disappeared. The film is about a young man who travels to Alaska to try to live off the grid.
But Owen's parents shared their doubts about the theory.
"Those train-hopping videos were just one of 50 channels Owen had subscribed to on his YouTube feed," Mary said. "When we looked in his YouTube search history and his recent viewing history, we don't see that he has even looked at those videos any time in the recent past."
"I think that [investigators] are realizing that they went a little too far putting out one theory but I'm glad that they're on this with us," Mary added.
Detectives have not received any viable tips in the case, police said, and there are no signs of foul play but they aren't ruling anything out.
The Portland Police Bureau is asking people who live or work in the area from North Willamette to North Lombard Streets to North Fiske to North Ida Avenues to check their personal surveillance from Oct. 6 from 7:50 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Mary said that while she and her husband hope their son simply got on a train and headed to the beach, they can't help considering far worse possibilities.
"The not knowing is really, really, really hard," she said. "We need everyone's help."
If you know where Owen might be, call 911.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can see their story here.
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