Multnomah Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Release
Search and rescue teams search for missing Portland man near Corbett (Photo) - 07/12/22

On Tuesday, July 12, around 10:30 a.m., the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) received a report of a missing man who reportedly went hiking and did not return home. It was reported that 53-year-old Christopher Smaka left his Portland residence on Monday morning to hike in the area of Gordon Creek. Smaka was not planning to camp overnight. Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputies located Smaka’s vehicle parked on SE Gordon Creek Road near Corbett around 11 a.m.

Based on the time elapsed since he left home and forecasted high temperatures, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (MCSOSAR) was activated. Because the search area is split between Multnomah and Clackamas Counties, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (CSAR) team also responded. 

A special team of MCSO deputies, called the Green Hornets, quickly hiked down a trail near where the car was found. Green Hornets carry lightweight packs with emergency equipment, so they can deploy faster. Teams of MCSOSAR and CSAR members followed behind, searching as they worked their way down the trail. The trail, approximately 2 miles in length, ends at the Sandy River.

On the riverbank, searchers located Smaka’s personal belongings, including his identification and a pair of shoes.

Ground searchers fanned out along the riverbank. Two CSAR kayakers launched from Dodge Park to paddle the river. CSAR also launched a drone to search from above. Unfortunately, Smaka has not been located.

Search efforts are discontinuing this evening for the night. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office is now leading search efforts. Media should direct any future questions related to the search to CCSO.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office would like to acknowledge the Green Hornets, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, Clackamas Search and Rescue and the Corbett Fire Department. Approximately 25 searchers participated in SAR efforts.

Image description: Photo of Christopher Smaka
Image description: Photo of MCSOSAR members deploying to the hiking trail

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