Ground Search Efforts Suspended Until Saturday 5 October, 2013

Officials just suspended ground search efforts for Kristopher Zitzewitz, 31, of Portland, OR that were based in the Big Lava Beds near Goose Lake, approximately 10 miles north of Cook, WA in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Zitzewitz was looking for caves with his partner, Caleb Richie of Portland, OR when they became separated about 2:00 PM Saturday afternoon, 28 September. Today, approximately 18 ground searchers, 2 K9 SAR teams, 4×4 vehicles, and 4 wheeler ATVs scoured the area where Zitzewitz was last seen in the rugged Big Lava Beds. Air support from Air Station Astoria had launched a Coast Guard helicopter this afternoon to attempt to reach the search site, but was turned back because of weather and the mission had to be scrubbed.

Additionally, officials are still trying to locate Alejandra Wilson. At 1151 am on Monday, 30 September, Dane Wilson reported his daughter Alejandra Wilson, 23, was overdue to check in with him on her hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Wilson is also hiking the PCT north and had last talked with her father on Friday at 3:00 pm as she was leaving Trout Lake for White Pass, WA. She is believed to be on the Pacific Crest Trail north of Riley Creek in Northern Skamania or Yakima Counties.

Air support has been requested for tomorrow morning to search areas that are very hazardous to ground search efforts.

“We have suspended ground search efforts this evening for these two individuals. We want to give our search resources an opportunity to regroup and revitalize over the next couple of days”, said Undersheriff Dave Cox. “We will be mounting an extensive air search in the morning and have requested multiple air resources to assist with that effort. We are anticipating renewing the extensive ground search efforts, if needed, on Saturday morning, 5 October, for Kristopher and Alejandra”, he said.

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Thank you for your assistance

Dave Cox
Undersheriff
Skamania County Sheriff’s Office
509-427-9490
Email: davec@co.skamania.wa.us