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Search Efforts Continue For Missing Hunter Northwest Of Trout Lake ***Updated 11.20.17 0830***

Update #4


Search efforts suspended for Vancouver man 11/18/17 6:00pm The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office is suspending search efforts for 37 year old Joel Presler from Vancouver.

With assistance from the King County Sheriff’s Office air wing unit, the search area was flown today by helicopter. Observers in the helicopter reported good visibility in the search area and they were unable to detect any tracks or other clues that might have been associated with Presler.

Snow depths at Presler’s truck are close to 36 inches and the depths increase with elevation gain. After 4 days of organized search efforts there have been no clues produced that have assisted in locating Presler. Snow conditions and forecasted weather will continue to reduce the probability of having success at this time.

We are aware the family and friends of Mr. Presler are planning ground search efforts in the area on Sunday. We have spoken with them and encourage them or anyone who heads into the area in the next few days to practice caution in consideration of conditions in the area.

The Skamania County Sheriff asks that anyone who may be in the search area and comes across any clues to call 911 or contact the Skamania County Sheriff at (509) 427-9490.

End Release

Dave Brown Sheriff





With the assistance of the King County Sheriff’s Office we utilized a helicopter to fly over the areas we have been searching since last Wednesday.  These photos depict the terrain, snow conditions and ground cover. 

Efforts today yielded no clues as to the location of Mr. Presler.

We will be evaluating our efforts in a meeting later this afternoon and a media release will be sent this evening.

Dave Brown







The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office is continuing search efforts today in the Forlorn Lakes area on the east side of the Indian Heaven Wilderness for a Vancouver man.

 Joel Presler, 37 years of age, remains missing and has not been heard from since Saturday November 11th.

 Presler’s 2004 black ford pickup was located by deputies on Wednesday November 15th off forest road 6035. 

 Search efforts today will focus on getting ground searchers to the area of lake Comcomly as well attempting to locate an old cabin in the proximity of where the vehicle was located.

 Approximately 10 volunteer SAR people are assisting along with snowmobiles and personnel from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

 Weather conditions in the area are improved today.  Precipitation is minimal and it is currently partly cloudy with temperatures below freezing.


End Release


Dave Brown




4:30 pm


Search efforts are continuing this afternoon and into the early evening hours for 37 year old Joel Presler from Vancouver WA.  Skamania County deputies received information earlier today that Presler received assistance from a passerby on Saturday or Sunday last weekend.  According to the passerby, Presler’s vehicle was in a ditch in the snow and Presler needed help.  The passerby pulled the vehicle out of the ditch and told deputies that Presler continued up the road.   That is the last known contact with Presler.

 Snowmobile searchers and ground searchers are covering the areas around Forlorn Lakes in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest northwest of Trout Lake WA.

 Weather conditions have improved some in the area today but there remains nearly 24 inches of snow in the area Presler’s truck was located.

If Presler is not located by dark, search efforts will be suspended until tomorrow morning.


End Release


Dave Brown