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The disappearance of David Durham
No sign of Sauvie Island man since alleged shooting of Lincoln City police officer
One year after David Durham went missing near the small coastal town of Waldport - after allegedly shooting and seriously wounding a Lincoln City Police Officer - there have been no verified sightings of the Sauvie Island man.
That's despite over 100 tips from all over the country reported to the Lincoln City Police Department and the Oregon State Police since the Jan. 23, 2011 incident, which led to a massive coastal manhunt and caused some local residents to lock themselves inside their homes in fear. The LCPD says it still gets around three to five tips a month, but none have paid off.
Durham reportedly shot Lincoln City Officer Steven Dodds during an evening traffic stop southbound on Highway 101. When Dodds approached the SUV, believed to be driven by Durham, the officer said he was shot in the abdomen. A police chase followed down the highway as Durham allegedly fired his gun out the window at pursing officers. Spike strips forced Durham to stop near Waldport where police say he fled on foot, reportedly shooting at boaters on Alsea Bay during his escape. Police suspect Durham of shooting at nine people besides Dodds. Only Dodds was hit.
After hospitalization, Dodds recovered and recently returned to his patrol duties. He was awarded the Purple Heart honor from the Oregon Peace Officers Association.
'I was a victim for 30 seconds and I have been a survivor since,' Dodds said in a statement.
A few days after he was last spotted running up the beach toward a Waldport subdivision, a woman who described herself as a close friend of Durham told The Spotlight she had strong suspicions he was dead.
Durham would never abandon his beloved dog Huckleberry who rarely left his side, said the woman who wished to only be identified as Heather. Three days after the last sighting of Durham, the dog was found wandering alone near Waldport. It was adopted by a friend and former neighbor of Durham on Sauvie Island.
Initial media reports proclaiming the suspect a 'survivalist' were exaggerations, Heather believed, because while Durham did have a penchant for wearing camouflage and camping, he was more an outdoor enthusiast than someone who could survive on his own in the wild with no supplies.
The LCPD says there is a possibility Durham is deceased, but officers will continue to investigate until Durham is found - alive or dead.
In the months preceding the shooting, Durham had been acting erratically and paranoid according to Heather, a statement previously echoed by other family and friends. In early January 2011, Durham left a message for a friend to say he couldn't talk, but would call 'when it's safe,' Heather said.
'He was definitely going through something,' she said. 'We just didn't know how serious it was.'
The Durham case was twice featured on the America's Most Wanted television show, which last aired information on the attempted murder suspect March 12.
REWARD FOR INFO
The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to Durham's arrest. You can contact the LCPD at 541-994-3636 or the FBI at 503-224-4181.