Search effort for missing Portland woman suspended

Search for missing woman continues in Gorge

UPDATE: After searching more than 150 miles of trails, Search and Rescue coordinators have made the decision to suspend the search, pending new information or developments in the investigation.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Search teams continued looking Sunday morning for 21-year-old Anna Schmidt in the Columbia River Gorge, the third day of searching for the missing Portland woman.

On Saturday, close to 200 community volunteers and 50 search and rescue crews flooded the woods near Tooth Rock Trailhead to search for Schmidt.

The Utah-to-Portland transplant, known by those who love her as Annie, was last seen on Sunday, Oct. 16, by her roommate.

Social media posts indicated she had gone hiking in the Gorge.

Portland police found her car Thursday, near the trailhead. Searchers flooded the area the next day.

“The trails have been really well searched,” said Annie’s mom, Michelle Schmidt.

She admits, her daughter is adventurous and liked to take risks. She could have very likely gone off-trail.

“It's not unrealistic at all to assume she's injured somewhere,” said Michelle.

Her biggest worry is that the 21-year-old took one risk too many last Sunday.

Inside her car, police found Annie’s cell phone and camping gear.

Michelle said her daughter’s phone is old, and the battery dies quickly. She said it’s entirely possible it was out of power when Annie arrived at the Gorge.

If that were the case, she would have left the phone and gone for, what she assumed, would be a short walk.

She hasn’t been seen since.

Saturday, hundreds of search and rescue crews and community volunteers flooded the woods near Tooth Rock trailhead.

The search even took to the skies, with a fixed-wing plane circling overhead. Late Saturday morning, drones were deployed to scan the trickiest of areas.

“The Gorge is known for its cliffy outcroppings and waterfalls,” said Lt. Chad Gaidos of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. “These are, of course, beautiful sightseeing opportunities but dangerous areas.”

By nightfall, Gaidos estimated crews will have covered more than 100 miles of trail.

As of early Saturday afternoon, Gaidos said there were no plans to end the search anytime soon.

For Michelle Schmidt and the rest of her family, waiting is the worst part.

“I called my daughter last night, who's my youngest, and sat on the phone and cried and cried and cried and cried,” she said. “But we have to be logical and do all we can.”

Anna Schmidt was described as a 5-foot-4, 125-pound white woman with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone who may have been hiking in the Gorge over the past few days and recognizes Schmidt should contact Detective Heidi Helwig at heidi.helwig@portlandoregon.gov. Anyone with information about Schmidt's whereabouts should call 911.

KGW


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