Teams may have to give up search for Milton-Freewater man

Jason Sartin was last seen driving down a forest road in the Tiger Canon region on Nov. 13.


TIGER CANYON -- After two additional days of searching last week and a month since the first missing person report, Umatilla County search and rescue teams still have no sign of a Milton-Freewater man who may have driven his pickup off of Tiger Canyon Road.

Jason Sartin, 32, was last seen driving down a forest road in the Tiger Canon region on Nov. 13.

Since then, Umatilla County Sheriff John Trumbo said the search teams have used a helicopter and airplane, and have had dozens of volunteers on quad-runners and foot searching for Sartin and his pickup.

On Monday and Thursday last week the search continued with no sign found, he added.

"At this point what this is is a recovery," Trumbo said, noting that severe winter could eventually put a halt to the searching until next year. "Frankly we are running out of options. The weather is cold and there is snow up there and it is not looking good."

The sheriff described the terrain as lined with steep canyons ranging from 500 to 1,000 feet, and added that the brush and woods in some areas are dense enough to completely cover Sartin's pickup from being spotted by plane.

Trumbo also said he feels strongly that Sartin must have had an accident because his history shows he would have kept in contact with family.

"He was so family oriented. He called his mother every day or every other day. He had a good relationship with his daughter, and he was planning on doing things with her the day he became missing ... He would have contacted a family member and he hasn't done that," Trumbo said.

Sartin's pickup is a silver, raised 1976 four-wheel-drive Chevrolet shortbed pickup.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at or 526-8325.


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