Tribal Government & News

Tribal personnel help find missing man

05.13.2021 Dean Rhodes Public safety, Natural resources


By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

Grand Ronde Tribal personnel from myriad departments helped find a 73-year-old man who was reported missing north of Grand Ronde off Wind River and Agency Creek roads on Sunday, May 9.

Sang Kwon Sa was gathering mountain greens with his wife and friends. They reported him missing at 6:30 p.m.

The Grand Ronde Tribal Police Department and Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office responded and performed an initial search. A Polk County drone also searched the area by air using a thermal camera.

A Search and Rescue Team was deployed and worked the area until about 3 a.m. Monday and a more intense search was conducted on Tuesday. Sa was finally located by search helicopters, Tribal Police Chief Jake McKnight said.

General Manager David Fullerton said Tribal staff members from Natural Resources, Facilities, Emergency Management, the Police Department, GIS and the Elders Activity Center helped search for Sa, who was described as 5-foot-5, weighing 150 pounds with gray hair. He was wearing black pants, a long-sleeved shirt and red and white cap.

“We were notified late Sunday evening that an elderly man went missing in the Wind River drainage,” Fullerton said. “Staff were mobilized Monday morning and continued the search Tuesday until the missing person was located. Great job, and thank you all for stepping up to help the family locate their loved one.”