Search for Pacific Crest Trail hiker called off

Search for Pacific Crest Trail hiker called off
Katherine Heuther. Photo courtesy of her family.

STEVENSON, Wash. – Search operations for 24-year-old Kathrine Huether, missing since 3 p.m. Thursday, have been suspended indefinitely. 

Heuther's phone was used to text a friend around 3 p.m. Thursday, saying she was at a trail head for a short hike and would return home around 8 p.m. Skamania County rescuers began searching for Heuther Sunday after a missing persons report was filed by her adoptive parents over the weekend.

The search continued Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, an extensive search was conducted to "ensure probable areas as well as some areas outside of the search area were adequately covered," reports a Wednesday evening press release from Skamania County Undersheriff Dave Cox.

On KATU-TV Wednesday evening, Cox said crews have really "scoured the hillside out there, and just can't find her."

Forty-five ground searchers, two K-9 search teams, two equestrian search teams and a helicopter from the U.S. Coast Guard all searched the area on Wednesday. The area had some rain, but that "did not hamper search efforts," Cox said. Even so, "searchers were not able to locate any additional clues to Ms Huether’s whereabouts today."
“This action does not mean we stop looking for Kate,” said Sergeant Jay Johnston in a prepared statement. “The Sheriff’s Office will continue to evaluate information as it becomes available." He also said the Sheriff’s Office may bring searchers back to the area "based upon new information they may receive.”

Those at the Skamania County Sheriff's Office are asking hikers or others with information that could help locate Heuther to call the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office at (509) 427-9490. 

Officials are calling the receipt found on a trail off the Pacific Crest Trail their "only clue that she may have been in the area." The receipt was found about 4 miles north of North Bonneville, Wash., on Sunday afternoon.