MERLIN, Ore. —
UPDATE: The body found inside of a Toyota truck submerged in the Rogue River belonged to Richard Hillmann, Oregon State Police (OSP) confirmed on Tuesday. The announcement was based on a determination from the agency's Office of the Medical Examiner.
OSP did not reveal any other information regarding the investigation. The time or manner in which Hillmann and his truck entered the river remain a mystery at this time.
(Updated 2/5/19 at 4:30 p.m.)
INITIAL REPORT: The truck belonging to a Josephine County man who has been missing since Thanksgiving of 2017 has been recovered submerged in the Rogue River — with an as-yet unidentified body inside, according to Oregon State Police (OSP).
Hillmann was last seen leaving a party at a friend's house on Pleasant Valley Road between 8 and 9 p.m. on November 22 of 2017. He was driving his green 1997 Toyota SR5 pickup.
On Wednesday, someone spotted the tires of a submerged vehicle poking above the waterline near the Argo Boat Ramp — about five miles downstream from the town of Galice. That person flagged down a Josephine County deputy, who called in more deputies.
The responding deputies found a green Toyota pickup in the river, about 10-15 feet from the shore, OSP said.
When OSP detectives and Search & Rescue teams pulled the truck from the river on Wednesday and ran the vehicle's identification, they found that it belonged to Hillmann.
While a body was found inside of the vehicle, OSP said that it has not yet been positively identified as belonging to Hillmann. Detectives are continuing the investigation, but no further information will be released right now.
This is a developing story, and NewsWatch 12 will update this article with more information as it emerges.
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