October 26, 2016 8:00 pm
At approximately 5pm this afternoon searchers located the body of Melvin Burtch at the base of Table Mountain in Skamania County north of the Bonneville Dam. Burtch started out on Tuesday morning for a day hike to Table Mountain and was last heard from at 2pm Tuesday afternoon. Search efforts were initiated at approximately 8:00 this morning. With the assistance of the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, AT&T and Apple, information was obtained to pinpoint the GPS coordinates for Burtch’s cell phone. Searchers were then able to navigate to the cell phone location and found Burtch’s body within 50 yards of the location of the phone. It is believed Burtch fell from the summit of Table Mountain to the base which is a vertical distance of nearly 700 feet. Recovery efforts are set to begin on Thursday morning October 27th at approximately 8:30 am. Assistance will be provided by local volunteer search groups as well as the 304th Rescue Squadron of the Portland Air National Guard.