The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office has temporarily suspended its search for a man missing in Gifford Pinchot National Forest after searching the wilderness with drones on Tuesday.
“We have suspended search efforts as of Wednesday morning to allow our office to develop additional areas of probability and (we) are working closely with the family,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Deputies plan to resume the search for Richard L. Sugai, 78, of Beaverton, Ore., on Saturday.
Sugai was reported overdue from a mushroom-picking day trip at 4:17 p.m. Saturday. Sugai’s last known location was Forest Service Road 60, about 10 miles north of Carson, according to the sheriff’s office.
Sugai was in the area with family, who has reportedly picked mushrooms there for decades, according to the sheriff’s office. The family told deputies that Sugai has a condition that requires daily medication. He was dressed for the torrential rain, but his clothing is darkly colored.
Deputies started looking for Sugai that same day. Teams scoured the woods through the night but could not find him. Other mushroom pickers and people at hunting camps were alerted about the missing man. The search efforts continued for the next three days.
On Tuesday, deputies used drones to enhance their ground searches and check areas that are not easily accessible.
Unfortunately, searchers have been unable to find any clues about where Sugai could be located or his direction of travel, the sheriff’s office said.
But the search will resume on Saturday, with additional search teams, including a dog, and drones.
Skamania County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jeremy Schultz said there has been an overwhelming amount of searches over the past several days limiting those resources — two smaller searches in Schultz’s jurisdiction and a large-scale search in Klickitat County.
“It hampered our ability a bit on this search. Search crews are very busy, but we’re getting back out there soon,” Schultz said.
Anyone in the area last Saturday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. who may have seen Sugai is encouraged to contact the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office at 509-427-9490.