Mt. Hood crews to resume search for hiker Saturday morning

Mt. Hood crews to resume search for hiker Saturday morning »Play Video
A picture from Mary Owen's father's Facebook page. Owen is seen here during a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail.

MOUNT HOOD, Ore. – Search teams were brought off Mount Hood late Friday night after spending the day searching for a 23-year-old woman who was last heard from Sunday and is without her backpack.

Mary Owen, a George Fox University student, was reported missing on Thursday evening. Friends said they last heard from her on Sunday when she sent an email, saying she was hiking on Mount Hood.

According to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, crews came off the mountain for their safety and will resume the search for Owen on Saturday morning.

Search and rescue crews have mounted the search, but have few details on where the McMinnville woman may have been hiking. On Friday, they focused on searching hiking trails that begin at Timberline Lodge, as they don't believe she planned to summit the mountain.

Owen's father, Bruce Owen, said Friday afternoon that he thought his daughter was hiking with friends, but authorities believe she is alone.

Owen’s Toyota 4Runner was found in the parking lot of Timberline Lodge. Sheriff’s deputies checked the vehicle and believe it had been sitting there for some time, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

While Owen is an experienced hiker – she’s hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada – her backpack was left in her Toyota, so deputies believe she’s short on supplies.

Bruce Owen said his daughter has weathered difficult hikes through mountain ranges during similar weather conditions.

"I don't believe she would try to climb Mount Hood by herself," he said. "But there is a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail that runs by Mount Hood. She may have decided to hike that portion of Pacific Crest Trail."

Bruce Owen said he's trying to find the people who were supposed to hike with his daughter.

"We don’t know the names of the people that she was planning to hike with and we would really like to see if we can contact some of them to see if the hike ever materialized or if they made other plans and she gone off hiking by herself somewher," he said.

Bruce Owen described his daughter as a confident outdoors person; her trail name is "daredevil." She is active in homeless ministry in downtown Portland and plans to go into Bible translation after graduation from George Fox.

Owen is believed to be wearing a green beanie hat; deputies have no other information on her other clothing.

Anyone who may have seen Owen since last Saturday is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 503-655-8211. You can also send an email to Sgt. Sean Collinson at seancol@co.clackamas.or.us.