Crews searching for missing man
January 2, 2013
Boundary County sheriff's deputies and Search and
Dive Rescue members have been scouring Smith Creek and
the Kootenai River near Copeland since Monday
morning after a daypack was discovered at Smith
Creek Hydro, along with a set of footprints leading to
the top of Smith Creek Falls, where a pair of
shoes were found.
It is believed that the man, whose name has not
been released pending notification of next of
kin, went there sometime Friday, December 28,
with the intention of taking his own life.
According to Chief Deputy Rich Stevens of the
Boundary County Sheriff's Office, the man lived
alone on the West Side, and attempts to find
next of kin have so far not been successful.
"He was a loner with no family in the area," he
said. "We're now working this as a recovery
rather than a rescue based on how long this has
According to Stephens, operators at Smith Creek
Hydro discovered the pack and footprints and
notified the sheriff's office. Because of the
cold weather and steep terrain, the search has
been slow and methodical for the safety of those
conducting the search, and crews have been on
the Kootenai River in the sheriff's office's
Marine 1 as conditions allow.
"It's pretty treacherous terrain and conditions
are dangerous," Stephens said.
Searchers were able to identify the missing man,
and a search of his home turned up letters that
indicated the man's intent as well as the
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