Missing Student Mary Owen Found

Photo of Mary Owen climbing
George Fox senior Mary Owen

Update: Saturday, March 30, 11:25 a.m.

Missing hiker Mary Owen has been found, according to reports from The Oregonian. Owen was spotted by a National Guard helicopter on the Sandy Glacier on Mt. Hood at an elevation of about 6,500 feet after 10 a.m. She has been transported to Legacy Emanual Medical Center for the treatment of frostbite and other unidentified injuries.

More info is available from the Oregonian.

George Fox University senior Mary Owen, 23, had been reported missing since Monday (March 25) and rescue crews searched the Mt. Hood area.

Owen was last heard from on Sunday night (March 24) when she sent an e-mail to a friend stating she was going hiking on Mt. Hood. The vehicle she was using, a white 1988 Toyota 4-Runner, has been found in the Timberline Lodge parking lot. Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Deputies checked the vehicle and saw evidence that it had been sitting at that location for some time.

A subsequent investigation has led the Sheriff's Office to believe that Owen may have gone hiking by herself. Owen's backpack was still in her vehicle, so she may be short on supplies. She is an experienced hiker who has in the past hiked the Pacific Coast Trail from Mexico to Canada.

Owen is an interdisciplinary major who lives off campus. She is a leader of the George Fox student-led Urban Services ministry to the homeless in the Portland area. “Mary is a physically, spiritually and emotionally strong individual,” says Sarah Thomas Baldwin, dean of spiritual life.

Owen’s family lives in McMinnville. Her father Bruce, an accountant in the George Fox University Financial Affairs Office, posted an update on his Facebook page on Friday at 4 p.m.

“They have the vehicle open. Her backpack was inside. Her sleeping bag was inside. They found out that she bought a pair of inexpensive hiking/running shoes and another (2nd) ice ax. They think they now know what she is wearing based on what they found in the pack, tights and running shorts. It appears by this information that she did not intend to be out overnight. That being said, she probably would still have taken her poncho as an emergency shelter and would know how to use that. Still trying to guessimate what her intensions and possible route would have been. Please keep praying."

Bruce posted another Facebook message on Friday at 9:20 p.m.

Here is the latest information I have from SAR. They have had two crews out since this afternoon and a plane. One crew checking the Pacific Crest Trail where it runs by Mt Hood. Another crew searching the areas where climbers usually come down the mountain, and a plane in the air. Newberg police has sent a computer crimes specialist out to hack Mary's laptop which they found in the truck. They are hoping it might have information on it to help narrow the search. They have traced her debit card activity to several places and reviewed video in each which showed her to be alone at the time she used her card. They have identified what she bought, (shoes and another ax) and are figuring that stuff in when they look at what was left in the truck. So far, we still do not have any info on the people she was planning on climbing the mountain with so we are still trying to find out who they are.

SAR says they will have upwards of 50 trained people out there beginning at 4 am tomorrow. They plan to have one crew brought to the summit to do a top down search of the mountain.

SAR says more untrained searchers would not be helpful, but if you are trained in search and rescue, you might be of use up there. Also, they said if folks wanted to go to Timberline and just talk to people and show Mary's picture, that might be helpful in maybe coming upon someone who knows something. Also, we had thought that if people wanted to maybe bring food for the SAR folks that could be of help.

Please keep praying and spreading the word. Please share this post to your wall so more people with see it. We are continuing in prayer and faith. We hope to find Mary soon.

Bruce posted Saturday at 7 a.m.

Nothing new over night. We are heading up to the mountain this morning.

Your prayers and support have been overwhelming, and we appreciate you all so much.

I do ask that if you are experienced in SAR and can be of help with the team up there looking for Mary that you would come.

I am conflicted on what to say to all of you who want so much to help, who want to search, but are not SAR trained. We desperately need to find Mary, but I would never want anyone else to be hurt or lost in the process. And so I can only ask that you would prayerfully consider what God would have you do, how God would have you help, and to act accordingly. Please be led by God's Holy Spirit in you and not by your own emotions in making this decision. We love you all, and we believe your prayers are a help beyond all measure.

We beg of you Father, that you would hear our prayers, that you would hear the prayers of all those that are praying soo faithfully. We pray that you would bring Mary back to us safely. We ask that You who knows all things, would show us where she is. We ask that you would bless the hands and feet of all those who will are out search today. Keep them safe, and point them in the right direction. We trust You, we praise you, and we submit ourselves to your good and perfect will in this and in all things. We thank you God that you hear and answer the prayers of all those that love You and put thier trust in you. Please hear us now.

George Fox University is on spring break this week and students will return to campus on Sunday.

Photo of Mary Owen in a green beanie hat