The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office is currently conducting search operations in the Columbia River Gorge north of Bonneville Dam for an overdue 31 year old man from Beaverton Oregon.
Melvin Burtch left with 2 dogs on Tuesday October 25, 2016 for a day hike to the Table Mountain area above Bonneville Dam. On Wednesday morning employees of the Bonneville Hot Springs resort witnessed Burtch’s unoccupied vehicle parked in the trailhead parking lot near the resort and both dogs were at the vehicle.
Sheriff’s deputies were able to contact the dog owner who is a friend of Burtch and she told deputies that Burtch had last contacted her at 2pm Tuesday afternoon when he sent a text picture from what appeared to be the top of Table Mountain. Since that time there has been no contact with Burtch.
Volunteer Search and Rescue teams are on the ground currently searching the trails that surround Table Mt.
Current signal transmissions from Burtch’s cell phone indicate the phone is still in the area of Table Mt. however Burtch is not answering voice calls or text messages.
The current weather in the gorge is a factor for searchers. Heavy rain showers and east winds are limiting visibility and voice signals.
Search efforts will continue throughout this afternoon, be suspended this evening and resume tomorrow at daylight.
End Media Release
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