STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

UPDATE: Missing Sams Valley Man Died of 'Hypothermia'

Rick Ward was reported missing after friends and family—who last heard from him on Sunday—did not see him on Monday or Tuesday.

Posted: Apr 11, 2018 11:06 AM
Updated: Apr 11, 2018 5:22 PM

UPDATE: Investigators believe that the death of Rick Ward was accidental. The conclusion comes from an autopsy that was performed on Wednesday by Dr. James Olson, MD.

Dr. Olson concluded that, although Ward had sustained visible injuries to his head and limbs, those injuries were not fatal. Ward may have fallen at 'ground level' and received those minor wounds—but, JCSO said, his death was most likely caused by hypothermia.

Evidence of alcohol consumption at the scene suggest that drinking may have played a role, detectives believe. However, toxicology results are still pending at this time.

(Updated as of 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11)



EAGLE POINT, Ore. — The body of 45-year-old Richard "Rick" Ward Jr.—a Sams Valley man reported missing on Tuesday—has now been recovered, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office (JCSO). Ward's body was found on Tuesday after a search by the JCSO search and rescue (SAR) team.

A woman called to report Ward as missing on Tuesday around 7:15 a.m. in the morning. She said that Ward had been off-roading in his truck on Sunday near Butte Falls Highway and Derby Road when his truck got stuck in mud. A friend helped Ward free his truck from the mud.

Detectives believe that Ward's truck became stuck again as he was trying to leave the area. Friends and family were unable to reach Ward by phone after that.

Deputies and SAR teams joined Ward's friends and family in searching the area on Tuesday. Around 2:10 p.m., an SAR K9 unit found Ward's body near a gravel quarry, about 1/8 of a mile from where his truck was found.

Although an autopsy is planned for today, detectives report that Ward had head injuries 'consistent with a ground level fall.'

The investigation is ongoing, and there is currently no evidence to suggest foul play. This article will be updated when and if more information emerges.

Anyone with information about the incident can call the JCSO tip line at (541) 770-8333. Refer to case #18-6958.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 44388

Reported Deaths: 675
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9653167
Washington608278
Marion6068109
Umatilla346145
Clackamas330966
Lane250127
Malheur196738
Jackson18657
Deschutes120913
Yamhill102515
Linn86316
Polk67515
Jefferson60910
Morrow5547
Lincoln51913
Union4872
Benton4646
Klamath4313
Douglas3738
Wasco35216
Hood River2861
Columbia2751
Josephine2733
Coos2621
Clatsop2510
Baker1433
Crook1162
Tillamook750
Curry581
Wallowa512
Lake470
Harney370
Sherman220
Gilliam120
Grant120
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 928028

Reported Deaths: 17618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3063277056
Riverside680501319
San Bernardino643671074
Orange597181475
San Diego56369888
Kern34154422
Fresno31321443
Sacramento26018500
Santa Clara24867406
Alameda23775463
San Joaquin21994492
Contra Costa18981246
Stanislaus17872401
Tulare17800292
Ventura14486166
Imperial13038338
San Francisco12320147
Monterey1161695
San Mateo11341161
Santa Barbara9919126
Sonoma9646136
Merced9623155
Kings850283
Solano763476
Marin7121127
Madera509476
Placer435359
San Luis Obispo426532
Yolo326660
Butte314353
Santa Cruz286125
Shasta204631
Napa200916
Sutter189712
San Benito146115
El Dorado13804
Yuba134610
Mendocino115621
Tehama9259
Lassen7721
Lake70417
Glenn6823
Nevada6358
Humboldt57110
Colusa5556
Calaveras34721
Amador33816
Tuolumne2886
Inyo24115
Siskiyou2210
Mono1822
Del Norte1811
Mariposa812
Plumas790
Modoc480
Trinity280
Alpine80
Sierra60
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 52°
Brookings
Clear
49° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 49°
Crater Lake
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 25°
Grants Pass
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 41°
Klamath Falls
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 25°
BOO-tiful Halloween
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events