LOST HIKER LOCATED
News Release from Deschutes Co. Sheriff’s Office
Posted on FlashAlert: January 8th, 2016 3:14 AM
Released by: Deputy Jim Whitcomb; Assistant SAR Coordinator
Occurred: 08/04/2015 4:58 P.M.
Location: Three Creeks Meadow
Name: Lost subject: William Neason 23 yom, Bend, OR
RP’s: Brandalyn Stevens 48 yof
Stephen Rhinehart 45 yom
On 01/07/2016, at about 5:20 P.M., Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (DCSOSAR)was dispatched to a report of a lost subject that had been hiking in the area of the Metolius-Windigo Trail about 1.5 miles north of Three Creek Lake.
The reporting person, Stevens, reported that her son, Neason, had decided to go for a hike while he was waiting for Stevens and Rhinehart to arrive with snowmobiles, after which they were going to ride together. Neason parked his vehicle at the Upper Three Creek Snow Park at about 1200 hours and walked up towards Three Creek Lake where the plan was to meet at the junction of Rd 370 and Rd 16, Three Creek Road.
Upon arrival of Stevens and Rhienhart about 2 hours later, they learned Neason was currently lost, but believed he was in the area of Snow Creek west of Rd 16. Stevens and Rhienhart drove back down to the Upper Three Creek Snow Park where they waited for LE arrival. A USFS LEO responded to the snow park and provided updates that Stevens would periodically receive from Neason via text messages.
Neason was able to report he had been walking in 3 foot deep snow, was wearing tennis shoes, blue jeans over laid with carhart pants, a sweat shirt and a Carhart jacket. Neason was reported to have a means of starting a fire.
Attempts to call and or text Neason by LE were not successful. Neason was able to call 911 at about 5:46 P.M. It was learned Neason was dressed for an overnight stay, but was now wet. Neason also advised he had food and water. Dispatch was able to obtain an accurate ping of Neason’s location which put him near the Metolius-Windigo Trail about 1.3 miles NW of Three Creek Rd.
Neason called 911 again at 7:15 P.M. to state he had stopped walking, had been able to build a fire and was cold. Based on the ping of the phone this time, the coordinates showed that Neason had walked about 200 yards downhill in a NE direction.
Three DCSOSAR snowmobiles, one towing an ambusled and 5 SAR members were deployed to the Upper Three Creek Snow Park parking lot arriving at about 8:00 P.M. From there snowmobiles were needed to travel the distance of about 3.5 miles to the intersection of the Metolius-Windigo Trail. Snowmobiles needed to then travel off trail to the west towards the GPS coordinates through narrow stands of trees and blow down.
At about 9:30 P.M. Neason was able to call 911 again to state he had been able to start a fire, which had since began to die, but the embers were helping his feet from getting too cold. The ping on the phone confirmed Neason had not moved since his prior 911 call.
SAR personnel located Neason at about 10:20 P.M. Neason was provided warm fluids and was wrapped in a couple of sleeping bags and transported back down to the Upper Three Creek Snow Park in the ambusled. Neason was released to the care of Stevens and Rhienhart.