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Missing Illinois Valley man found down an embankment

Police located 63-year-old Russell Wilcox, who disappeared last Friday.

Posted: Dec 1, 2019 10:42 AM
Updated: Dec 9, 2019 1:57 PM

ILLINOIS VALLEY, Ore. -- 

UPDATE: The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an unoccupied car located down an embankment on a forest service road on December 6. People in search of a Christmas tree found the car south of Takilma.

Police arrived and confirmed the vehicle belonged to Russell Wilcox, a man reported missing on November 29. Wilcox was found 100 feet down the embankment, directly below the vehicle. Due to night conditions and very steep terrain, it was determined a recovery would be unsafe at the time police arrived. 

On December 7, search and rescue crews and a Rope Rescue/High Angle Team responded and recovered the remains. Shortly after, police positively confirmed the identity of the remains as Wilcox and notified next of kin.

Wilcox was last seen driving on Waldo Road with Grants Pass as his destination on November 29. Since then, Josephine County Search and Rescue have been actively searching for him with the assistance of Illinois Valley Cert, Illinois Valley Fire, Del Norte County, Douglas County, Siskiyou County and Jackson County.

(Updated 12/7/19 at 5:30 p.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: The Illinois Valley Fire Department said that authorities need help in finding a missing Grants Pass man.

The agency says it is looking for 63-year-old Russell Wilcox. He is 5'8" and weighs about 220 pounds. He has white hair and blue eyes.

Police say Wilcox was last seen around 4:40 p.m. on Friday near the intersection of Waldo Road and Rockydale Road, not far from Cave Junction. He was reportedly headed back to his home in Grants Pass but never returned.

Wilcox drives a 2001 GMC Sierra with a canopy. The Oregon plate number is 218KCH.

Illinois Valley Fire says that Wilcox suffers from dementia, and police say he has a history of medical conditions that require medication.

Search and rescue teams have been looking for Wilcox over the past several days with no luck. If you see him or his truck call 911, contact Grants Pass Police at 541-450-6260 or the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office at 541-474-5123.

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