Active search suspended for missing K-Falls man

OSP still seeks clues, public's help

KENO, Ore. - The search for a missing Klamath Falls man by Klamath County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue and Oregon State Police was suspended after two days due to weather and deep snow at the site where his vehicle was found Sunday, parked abandoned on a spur road off Clover Creek Road north of Keno.

Despite the suspended search, troopers said Wednesday the the investigation is continuing into the whereabouts of Robert Lear, 39, and anyone with knowledge of his current location is asked to call OSP.

On Sunday and Monday, SAR resources and OSP detectives found no trace of Lear beyond his car that is believed to have been at its abandoned location for two weeks.

Challenges including significant snowfall, current weather conditions and the period of time Lear has been missing were factors in the decision to suspend the search.

Troopers say SAR resources likely will return to the forested, snow-covered area when conditions improve or more information is learned that would increase the likelihood he would be found.

Investigators say they have not ruled out the possibility he obtained a ride or hiked out of the area and hasn't notified anyone of his whereabouts.

Oregon State Police detectives said they believe the vehicle had been abandoned at that location since Dec. 12, when a retired OSP trooper notified OSP after media began reporting about the missing man and his vehicle, a silver 2004 Volkswagen Passat station wagon.

Lear  was reported missing to OSP by family members on December 20 after they last heard from him nine days earlier.

Evinger reported SAR resources Monday included six searchers, four of whom were out on snowshoes; two K-9 handlers with dogs from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office; and two OSP detectives.

On Sunday, SAR resources included nine searchers, seven of whom were on snowshoes, a Klamath County search manager,and the OSP detectives.

Searches worked in the area in which recent snowfall accumulations have reached 2 to 3 feet.

Lear was reported missing to OSP last Thursday by family members concerned for his welfare. Family members last heard from him Dec. 11 and believed he was moving to Seattle, where he was to arrive four days later.

An initial investigation failed to find him, so a news release was sent Saturday, asking for the public's help to find Lear and his vehicle.

Lear is described as 5-foot-11 and about 190 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. 

Anyone with knowledge of Lear's current location was asked to call the OSP Southern Command Center at (541) 883-5711. 

Anyone with information that may be helpful in locating him was asked to contact Detective Dennis Yaws or Sergeant Bob Fenner at OSP's Klamath Falls Area Command office at (541) 883-5713.

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