Missing St. Helens man died of hypothermia
Searchers located the body of missing St. Helens resident Kenny Landreth last week.
Rescue crews located the 45-year-old's body in a "hard-to-access" area filled with thick brush and undergrowth around 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31 — marking a grim conclusion for the six-day-long hunt.
"Unfortunately, the gentleman was found deceased, but at least he was found and we were able to give that closure to his family," Columbia County Sheriff Brian Pixley said this week.
The medical examiner determined Landreth's cause of death was hypothermia caused by exposure, Pixley said Thursday, Feb. 6.
The Sheriff's Office had suspended active search efforts the day prior. In a Jan. 30 statement, the Sheriff's Office said that searchers would transition to a "recovery mission" after the existing search leaders met with those who would lead that mission.
The following morning, however, the U.S. Air Force "was able to provide a more precise phone ping using information gleaned from previous search efforts," Pixley wrote in an email to the Spotlight.
"Kenny's body was located in the general area that we were actively searching. It was in an area that was extremely hard to access. We focused on that area due to an additional phone ping that was accessible by the US Airforce on Friday morning," Pixley wrote.
Landreth had not been seen since the evening of Saturday, Jan. 25. He was reported missing the following day.
More than 50 volunteer searchers had joined the Columbia County Search and Rescue Team and other public safety agencies in the search efforts. On foot and horseback, aided by dogs and drones, searchers traveled the rural area above Highway 30 in Warren.
Following the discovery of Landreth's body on Jan. 31, CCSO issued its condolences and thanked Warren Community Fellowship for use of its building as a makeshift command post during the mission.
Other local businesses and individuals aided the search with donations, including Eat @ George's, Fork'd, Dutch Brothers, Skinny's, Super Joe's Espresso, and others.
"A heartfelt thank you to our amazing community for all of your support and donations to bring Kenny Landreth home," a family member wrote on Feb. 2. "The working relationships with our community and all the official agencies made it possible for Kenny to be found."
Landreth's celebration of life is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, at Warren Community Fellowship, 56523 Columbia River Highway, Warren.
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