New billboards going up as search continues for Oregon City runaway
OREGON CITY, Ore. - The Federal Bureau of Investigations and Clackamas County SWAT members on Thursday joined police and sheriff's deputies in their search for a 13-year-old runaway who could be in danger.
Samantha Dodson of Oregon City may be with 40-year-old Kelsey "Patrick" McCune, a friend of Dodson's father who spent Thanksgiving with the family.
Authorities believe the pair may be looking for places to camp.
"We do believe they are still within the region," said Sheriff Craig Roberts. "Somewhere between Salem and Southwest Washington."
Searchers spent Thursday morning looking for the pair in the Newell Creek area of Oregon City. SWAT members joined the search because they were the largest law-enforcement resource that could quickly join search and rescue teams, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.
Dodson's sister, Sarah, spoke on behalf of her family at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
"It's cold out there, and you just can't be out there in the cold," Sarah said to her sister. "Please call us or call 911 to let us know you're safe.
"Your family and friends love, and we miss you."
Sarah said she thinks her sister will come home safe because someone spots her or McCune.
"She's just a kid and she can't be out there on her own," said Sarah.
Authorities believe the pair may be hitchhiking or using public transportation. They may have camping equipment with them.
"The Sheriff's Office is concerned about Dodson's welfare because of the record-cold temperatures expected to last for days, leading CCSO to deploy extra resources in this case," Sgt. Robert Wurpes said in a news release.
A new billboard (image below) is going up on McLoughlin Boulevard featuring the latest known photo of Dodson. Clear Channel Communications planned two more billboards for Washington County, Wurpes said.
McCune is a transient, according to the sheriff's office. He has made money in the past by doing computer freelance work. McCune is six feet tall and 170 pounds. He has a glass eye and salt-and-pepper hair. He may be carrying large duffel bags or backpacks with camping gear.
The sheriff's office released a new search bulletin, including an image of what McCune may look like without facial hair.
Dodson was last seen in the Oregon City area Tuesday night. She is described as a 5 feet 4 inches tall and 125 pounds. She has brown eyes and a slim build. She recently dyed her hair red, Wurpes said.
The sheriff's office said Dodson has no history of suicide attempts or running away from home.
At the news conference, Wurpes declined to release many details of the case, citing the ongoing investigation.
"Listen, when I think about my daughter missing from home with a 40-year-old man, that alone is enough to make some real concerns about her welfare," said Wurpes.
When asked why an Amber Alert has not been issued, Wurpes said Oregon has very specific criteria for Amber Alerts, including vehicle information.
"We don't have vehicle information on that right now," said Wurpes.
Anyone who sees Dodson or McCune is asked to immediately call 911. Anyone with information about the pair is asked to call the sheriff's office tip line at 503-723-4949.