http://www.forestgrovenewstimes.com/news/story.php?story_id=125858303989631600Lost and found: two searches, two results
A Forest Grove family is relieved that their nine-year-old is home, while a Cherry Grove family is still looking for a missing 48-year-old
Nov 18, 2009
The Forest Grove News-Times
For Lauren Schneider, the ordeal ended after about nine hours when a friend’s neighbor found her nine-year-old son Joseph unharmed.
But for the Thies family of Cherry Grove, the worry won’t end. Kenneth Thies
, 48, disappeared while walking his dogs near Lee Falls on Nov. 8.
The dogs returned, but Thies didn’t.
Search and rescue crews spent most of last week trying to find Thies, but haven’t turned up any real clues.
“It’s not a closed case by any means,” said Sgt. David Thompson, spokesman for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the agency that led the search.
But at this point, the active searching has been called off, with all leads exhausted.
“If somebody saw him somewhere we’ll start looking again,” Thompson said.
The Sheriff’s office called search crews to Cherry Grove on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 10, after his sister reported him missing.
Washington County’s volunteer explorer post got help from Yamhill County, Multnomah County and Portland Mountain Wave, Search One Canine and Tillamook County ATV last Wednesday.
That evening, when searchers were winding down the quest for Thies, they got a call from the Schneiders.
The Schneiders were visiting friends on Gheen Road in Manning and, after warning Joseph to be more careful around firearms about 3 p.m., he left.
“We’d gotten after him about not being safe,” Lauren Schneider said.
“At first I thought yeah, he has a jacket, but then we found his jacket in the car,” Schneider said.
Lauren and her husband, John, called their church to let them know they might be late and started looking for Joseph.
Thompson said because most of the searchers were already activated, they didn’t have much trouble moving up to Manning to start the search.
“We’d been mobilized for the Cherry Grove guy that morning so everything was still in play (and) the response time was even quicker than it normally is,” Thompson said.
By the evening, search crews were in place and started fanning out. Along with help from the Schneider’s friends from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
“We were very happy that everyone came out of the woodwork,” Lauren Schneider said.
Shortly after midnight, a neighbor of the Schneider’s friends in Manning found Joseph. Dressed in two T-shirts and blue jeans, Joseph was cold in the 40-degree weather.
“Through our church we get a lot of response like that but I was happy to see the response from the neighbors up there – friends and friends who just came to help,” Schneider said.
Schneider said Joseph wasn’t trying to get lost in the woods near their friends’ property, but got turned around.
“He wasn’t trying to run away. He was just sulking and wasn't ready to talk yet,” Schneider said.
A dose of cold weather and a bit of embarrassment will likely give him pause in the future, though. “He learned his lesson,” Schneider said.
Searchers returned to Cherry Grove the rest of the week to look for Thies, but gave up the search Monday, when no more clues turned up.
Unlike Joseph Schneider, it’s not known what kind of clothing Thies was wearing when he disappeared. He could still be alive, or could have walked to a nearby city.
Thompson said there wasn’t any evidence pointing to a reason Thies would want to disappear.
And the Sheriff’s office is still investigating the case as a missing person situation.Anyone with information about Thies can call the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 503-629-0111.