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Crooked River searchers find missing Redmond woman's body

Foul play not suspected

TERREBONNE, Ore. - (Updated with woman's body being found, recovered)

More than 30 searchers working in the Crooked River Canyon on Friday found a missing Redmond woman’s body in the Crooked River, about 150 feet downstream from a pedestrian bridge, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said. 

The 31 Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit volunteers and three deputies returned to the Peter Skene Ogden Scenic Viewpoint State Park in Terrebonne to conduct a search of the river for the body of Joellen Trenhaile, 60, who was reported missing on May 1 by a family friend who said she was suicidal and might be planning to jump into the gorge, said Lt. Chad Davis.

The DCSO SAR teams included members from the Mountain Rescue Unit, the Swift Water Rescue team, the Dive Team, the Kayak team and Ground SAR team members. 

Once DCSO SAR team members had their teams and equipment in place, a search of the river began. 

Shortly before 11 a.m., SAR members located Trenhaile's body in the water about 150 yards south of the footbridge, Davis said.

DCSO SAR team members utilized a floating litter to move Trenhaile's body upriver to the footbridge, where the Mountain Rescue Unit raised the floating litter to the footbridge using a high angle rope system. DCSO SAR teams concluded their mission at 4 p.m. 

Detectives from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and the Deschutes County Medical Examiner's Office responded to the scene to continue the investigation. At this time, no foul play is suspected, Davis said, adding that. Trenhaile's next of kin has been notified.

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Earlier story, from May 3:

Two days of fruitless air and ground searches of the Crooked River Gorge by Deschutes and Jefferson County deputies and volunteers have failed to find the remains of a missing, apparently suicidal Redmond woman who authorities said likely jumped off the 300-foot-high bridge. That prompted officials to advise the public on Wednesday, in case she is found by others visiting or recreating in the area.

Around 10:30 a.m. Monday, the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office received a report that Joellen Trenhaile, 60, of Redmond, had contacted a family friend and reported that she was suicidal and may be planning to jump into the Crooked River Gorge, said sheriff's Lt. Chad Davis.

Deputies responded to the Peter Skene Ogden Scenic Viewpoint State Park in Terrebonne and located Trenhaile's car at 10:38 a.m., Davis said.

Deputies began a ground search of the park and asked for mutual aid from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, which provided a fixed-wing Search and Rescue plane and an unmanned aerial system (drone) for an air search and patrol deputies to assist in the ground search.

Deputies from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Special Services Unit and DCSO detectives also responded to assist in the search for Trenhaile.

During a search of the footbridge, Trenhaile's cellphone was located, which indicated she had likely jumped from the footbridge into the gorge, about 300 feet below.

On Tuesday, 17 volunteers from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Unit responded to the scene to conduct a search of the high-probability areas in the water and riverbank where Trenhaile's body would likely be located, Davis said.

The volunteers included DCSO SAR members from the Mountain Rescue Unit and the Swift Water Rescue team. DCSO SAR members searched the water with sounding poles, in kayaks and teams on the ground searching the banks and surrounding areas.

In order to place DCSO SAR members into the search area, they were lowered 300 feet from the footbridge to the bank of the Crooked River. DCSO SAR members spent several hours searching the above mentioned areas and several more hours in lowering and raising personnel and equipment.

Davis said the Crooked River at this time has a high water flow and visibility is poor due to spring runoff, making search conditions difficult and dangerous for SAR members.

Unfortunately, searchers were unable to locate Trenhaile's body. At the conclusion of the search, SAR members and their equipment were raised from the riverbank back up to the footbridge.

At this time,  Davis said, it is believed Trenhaile's body could be located in any number of locations within several miles downstream of the Peter Skene Ogden Scenic Viewpoint State Park. Due to the inherent risks of inserting personnel and equipment into the Crooked River Gorge, further searches will be in the form of aerial and visual searches from the canyon edge.

Trenhaile has been entered as a missing person and is described as a 60 year old, white female, 5' 6" tall, weighing approximately 140 pounds, with short red hair and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing a grey zip up sweatshirt, Wrangler blue jeans and tan hiking boots.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office through the non-emergency dispatch number of 541-693-6911.


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