“Spiritual Quest” search suspended
SKAMANIA COUNTY — Officials suspended search efforts on Saturday for missing 19 year old Maureen Kelly from Vancouver, Wash., after an exhaustive search operation in the dense forest of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Kelly hasn’t been seen since June 9, when she left a Canyon Creek campsite in Skamania County.
A friend told sheriff’s deputies Kelly left on a spiritual quest at 5 p.m. that day.
She was wearing nothing but a fanny pack with a knife, compass and couple other items.
Rescue crews searched for Kelly in the woods of Gifford Pinchot National Forest for two days, but then called off the search.
On Saturday morning, searchers resumed looking for Kelly.
Approximately 75 search volunteers from 17 Search and Rescue participated in the day long search, said Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox
After searching nearly four square mile area, there was no trace of Kelly.
“We have utilize very professional search and rescue personnel during these operations,” said Cox.
“They are very well trained and we rely heavily on their expertise to search very difficult terrains in various weather conditions. For us to not be able to locate Ms. Kelly is very frustrating to everyone involved,” Cox said.
One searcher suffered an ankle injury and one of the search K9’s split one of its paws.
“We are very fortunate that we did not receive any more injuries today, based upon the terrain we asked our search personnel to work in,” said Cox.
Deputies will routinely continue to patrol the area and detectives will continue to investigate any tips or leads that may develop.