Unsolved: Jerry McKoen (2002)

An unsolved case from 15 years ago is fresh in the minds of friends and family of a Klamath Basin man.

Posted: Feb. 21, 2017 5:02 PM
Updated: Nov. 8, 2017 9:17 AM

Malin, ORE.-- An unsolved case from 15 years ago is fresh in the minds of friends and family of a Klamath Basin man.

Jerry McKoen was last seen in 2002.

NewsWatch 12's Eliana Sheriff takes us to Malin to hear how they hold out hope in this unsolved case.

Jerry got up early the morning of September 21, 2002.

His mom Bertha says she heard him around 4:30 in the morning—and then never knew where he went.

Jerry is very independent, and while he lived at home on the family farm, he would come and go as he pleased.

But his mom says he would usually leave a note, and that autumn morning, he didn’t.

The search for Jerry went from Malin, Oregon all the way down into California –the only possible clue the McKoen Family had was when a hunter found his pickup truck, almost two weeks later in Siskiyou County.

Bertha McKoen says, "We got notified at 9:30 in the morning that a hunter had found his pickup."

The family put up 2,500 posters across the area, including information about a reward within the first week of their son’s disappearance.

The hunter that found the truck knew some of the McKoen family, and when he saw the poster—and then saw the truck later that day, he knew immediately to call Jerry’s family.

Terry Guthrie says, "They had bought a box of potatoes from a packing shed here in the valley, that shed had a poster on the wall, missing and a picture of the pickup, and that day they saw the poster and that afternoon they had spotted the pickup."

Jerry's friends and family went to the place his truck was found. It didn't take them long to realize something was off.

Bertha McKoen says, "The radio was off and the heater was on high."

Terry Guthrie says, "I hunted with him 18 years and every time he left the pickup he never locked it and this time it was locked. It's just certain things like that that started making me believe there was a possibility foul play was involved."

 Bertha McKoen says, "It wasn't him that drove that pick up, that's why we think it was foul play."

Terry Guthrie says, "We don't know whether Jerry went down there for a purpose, or that Jerry didn't even go down there, or someone was forcing him to go down there. There's no explanation for it. "

It’s been so long-- his friend Terry-- who knew Jerry since they were both six years old-- is losing hope that Jerry is still alive.

Terry Guthrie says, "A few years back I thought that more than I do today, I think today, I don't think so. I think something has happened to him."

But he says they're always on the search for the one answer to all of their questions.

Terry Guthrie says, "I would love to be able to walk in there and say it's not the answer we wanted but here's what happened to Jerry and here's the proof."

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