GRESHAM, Ore. - A Gresham police officer and his sister-in-law fell about 40 feet while rock climbing and were killed over the weekend, police officials confirmed Monday.
Detective Tony "T.C." Silva was rock climbing at a state park on the Washington side of the Columbia River with his sister-in-law, Laura Dyal-Silva, when they both fell, according to Sgt. Michael LeDuc, a Gresham police spokesman.
The two were roped together and fell onto rocks, he said. Silva died at the scene while Dyal-Silva was airlifted to an area hospital and was later pronounced dead. Silva's brother, Bobby, was also climbing with them at the time, LeDuc said.
Authorities are not sure what caused the fall at Horsethief Butte, located in Columbia Hills State Park, which is east of The Dalles.
"T.C. Silva touched many of our lives and is best known for his ever-positive attitude, willingness to help others and keen intellect," Gresham police said in a statement. "We ask that members of the community join us in prayers for the Silva family."
LeDuc said Silva was on the fast track to become chief some day. He was an 8-year veteran of the force who was currently assigned as a detective within the East Multnomah County Gang Enforcement Team. He also served as a SWAT member, field training officer and a self-defense instructor.
Silva is survived by his wife, Rebecca, and his sons, Riley and Tony Jr. III. He is also the son of Gresham police Lt. Tony Silva, who is currently assigned to TriMet.
Dyal-Silva's mother said she was attending Multnomah University Bible College and had planned to go on missions with her husband. She is the daughter of a Gresham firefighter.
No funeral arrangement information was available Monday morning.