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Missing fisherman found alive after 17 nights in the Oregon wilderness

A missing fisherman has been found alive after spending 17 nights in the Oregon wilderness, according to police.

Posted: May 25, 2021 9:15 AM


A missing fisherman has been found alive after spending 17 nights in the Oregon wilderness, according to police.

Harry Burleigh, from Roseburg, Oregon, was reported missing the evening of May 7 by his wife, Stacy, after he failed to return home from a camping trip in the Toketee area. Burleigh, 69, was originally due to arrive home the day before, according to a May 9 news release from the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Douglas County Search and Rescue found Burleigh's vehicle near a lower trailhead that leads into Twin Lakes on May 8 and determined the fisherman may have tried to walk to Twin Lakes to fish before heading home, according to a previous news release.

The trail is in the Umpqua National Forest, which is nestled on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains, according to the National Park Service.

Search teams have been looking for the man since then and even left packages of food on the trails in hopes he would find them. His wife, Stacy, shared updates on the search efforts in a community Facebook group, stating at times there were 40 volunteers from eight counties participating in the mission.

Searchers scoured the area for days for any sign of Burleigh and had come up empty-handed, according to police. On May 16, they had a big break when searchers found a tackle box and makeshift shelter belonging to Burleigh. But they did not find the missing fisherman.

"They left him a note and lighter and told him to make a fire and they would be back in to get him tomorrow," Stacey wrote on Facebook. "It took the team another 6 hours to get out."

A week later, on Sunday, rescuers discovered a second makeshift shelter southwest of the original one, and after calling out for Burleigh, they heard him reply, according to the news release.

"He was found to be walking and complaining of minor pain, but was in stable condition," Sunday's news release said. "A Brim Aviation helicopter was utilized to hoist Burleigh from his location and transport him to a waiting Lifeflight helicopter."

Burleigh was evaluated at the hospital and reunited with his family Sunday evening, according to the news release.

"This was the outcome we all have been looking for in this case," said Douglas County Sheriff's Sgt. Brad O'Dell. "The Sheriff's Office wants to thank everyone who was involved in this mission."

At least 18 entities assisted in the recovery of Burleigh, according to the news release.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 392197

Reported Deaths: 5186
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60432839
Washington42082398
Marion39986507
Clackamas32861382
Lane30179358
Jackson24956361
Deschutes23639185
Umatilla15135182
Linn14704179
Douglas13438292
Josephine10201246
Yamhill9787143
Klamath9072147
Polk8248102
Benton611138
Malheur592790
Coos5693107
Columbia433356
Jefferson420866
Lincoln363852
Union339255
Crook336356
Wasco317046
Clatsop262735
Baker220833
Tillamook217045
Hood River214537
Morrow197825
Curry192439
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105616
Wallowa76013
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

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Reported Deaths: 74561
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Los Angeles152858627184
San Diego4074794340
Riverside3880835358
San Bernardino3748555967
Orange3346265736
Sacramento1684922447
Kern1578751804
Fresno1568972259
Santa Clara1522681929
Alameda1252361507
San Joaquin1076041834
Ventura1040841191
Contra Costa1038691046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare861371099
San Francisco56931672
San Mateo56354629
Monterey52521626
Solano47693358
Santa Barbara47345553
Merced45086668
Sonoma43207412
Placer42204470
Imperial38516773
Kings35221362
San Luis Obispo31511360
Madera26233311
Shasta26113458
Butte25476318
Santa Cruz22268224
Yolo21590260
Marin18495249
El Dorado18325166
Sutter14577186
Napa13424105
Yuba1076389
Tehama10282130
Humboldt10183119
Nevada10029105
Mendocino857799
Lassen797656
San Benito782979
Tuolumne774691
Lake7046110
Amador578366
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Calaveras442288
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