KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore - There are currently 12 missing people in Klamath County. One of those is Derrick Engebretson. He was 8 years old when he disappeared in 1998.
The most puzzling thing about the case is despite exhaustive search efforts, there were footsteps that basically stopped at the road. That's why Derrick’s mother is convinced he is not on this mountain.
Derrick was last seen searching for a Christmas tree with his dad and grandpa. He wandered off and when his dad and grandpa met back up - they realized Derrick was not with either of them.
Derrick's mom, Lori, recalls the day her 8-year-old son disappeared like it was yesterday.
She told Newswatch 12 she thinks about him every single day and does have hope he is still alive.
She does not think his story ended in the forest where he was last seen.
Lori Engebretson says, “We spent two years on that mountain, every weekend, every day off on that mountain searching for him, and nothing, Never found anything so yes, I believe he was picked up. Like I said, Derrick doesn’t get lost so I believe someone came to the road and picked him up. If he would have gotten into a car it would have been somebody he felt safe with or the whiteout was so unbearable that he couldn’t stand it anymore.”
The whiteout she mentioned hampered search efforts.
For more of Derrick's story watch Newswatch 12 at 11 p.m. Tuesday.
You can find more Unsolved cases here.