Search suspended for missing Portland man; advice, information always sought

Pictured: On July 13, members of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team trekked their gear to the banks of the Sandy River to conduct an underwater search for the missing hiker. Christophe Smaka53 years old, from Portland.

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UPDATE (Thursday, July 14, 2022) — RESEARCH SUSPENDED

Pictures: Dive/rescue team deploys to search Sandy River

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office suspended efforts to find the missing hiker Christophe Smaka53 years old, from Portland.

Smaka was reported missing on July 12 after failing to return home from a planned day hike in the Gordon Creek area. Deputies from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office located Smaka’s vehicle parked on SE Gordon Creek Road near Corbett around 11 a.m. and activated a joint search mission with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.

More than two dozen team members, including the Green Hornets, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (MCSOSAR), Clackamas County Search and Rescue (RASC) and Corbett Fire deployed to the area to join the search effort.

On July 12, about 2 miles from his vehicle, along the banks of the Sandy River, searchers located Smaka’s personal effects, including his ID and a pair of shoes. Teams then searched the shore and deployed kayaks and drones in a massive effort to locate him, with no success.

The search continued on Wednesday, July 13. At 9 a.m., members of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Dive/Rescue Team scoured their gear to the banks of the Sandy River to conduct an underwater search. (Photos of this deployment are here.) At 5:30 p.m., after the dive team’s mission was completed, ground crews and search dogs fanned out to the field and a Hood River County Sheriff’s Office the aircraft conducted an aerial search. Efforts to locate Mr. Smaka were again unsuccessful. After the searchers returned to the command post at 11 p.m., search and rescue coordinators made the difficult decision to suspend search operations at that time.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Christopher Smaka is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office hotline – by phone at 503-723-4949 or using the online email form.

Multnomah County First July 12 Press release on research effort is reproduced below.

[ END UPDATE ]

MP John Wildhaber
Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office
Public Information Unit

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EARLIER (Tuesday, July 12, 2022) — Press release from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office:

Search and rescue teams search for missing Portland man near Corbett

https://flashalert.net/id/MCSO/155939

On Tuesday, July 12 at approximately 10:30 a.m., the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) received a report of a missing man who had been hiking and did not return home.

It was reported that a 53-year-old man Christophe Smaka left his Portland residence on Monday morning to hike in the Gordon Creek area. Smaka did not plan to camp overnight.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Deputies located Smaka’s vehicle parked on SE Gordon Creek Road near Corbett around 11 a.m.

Based on the time elapsed since he left the house and the high temperatures expected, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office of Search and Rescue (MCSOSAR) was activated. Since the search area is split between Multnomah and Clackamas counties, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CSAR) search and rescue team also responded.

A special team of MCSO deputies, called the Green Hornets, quickly scoured a trail near where the car was found. The Green Hornets carry lightweight bags with emergency gear, so they can deploy faster. Teams of MCSOSAR and CSAR personnel followed behind, searching as they advanced down the runway. The trail, approximately 2 miles long, ends at the Sandy River.

On the bank, the searchers located Smaka’s personal belongings, including his identity card and a pair of shoes.

Ground searchers fanned out along the bank. Two CSAR kayakers set off from Dodge Park to paddle the river. CSAR also launched a drone to search from above. Unfortunately, Smaka has not been located.

Search efforts end tonight for the night. The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is now leading the search effort. Media should direct any future research-related questions to the CCOM.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Green Hornets, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, Clackamas Search and Rescue and the Corbett Fire Department. About 25 searchers participated in the SAR efforts.

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Brandon D. James