PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Friends of Maureen Kelly, naked and missing since Sunday in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, want searchers to resume looking for the 19-year-old.
On Tuesday, the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office suspended the search “until the end of the week.” Twelve teams of searchers scoured the area around Canyon Creek Campground — where she was last seen — for two days without finding her.
Skamania County Sheriff Dave Brown said, “They found nothing that is related.”
“Don’t give up on her please,” her friend Alex Scory told KOIN 6 News. “Just keep searching. Do not give up on her.”
Scory and another friend, Kiana Haynes, were planning to go on the “spiritual quest” with Kelly — or Anu, as they call her — and said she went to “completely let go of her ego.”
But she left the Canyon Creek campground north of Yacolt around 5 p.m. Sunday without telling them.
“She invited us on this quest with her, but she didn’t let us know before she left,” Haynes said. Her friends said she intended to head west into the forest.
“She went out there with nothing but a compass and a knife and a fanny pack,” Scory said. “It’s very strange, but she went out on a mission, a huge mission.”
The mission, they said, was to free herself from her ego and connect with nature.
Kelly attended Hudson Bay High School.
“She was a spiritual person when I first met her,” Haynes told KOIN 6 News. “I just felt that spiritual energy and she believes that when we are born we are naked and we are more in contact with the world.”
But now they are very concerned.
“It’s very hard to even sit here and try to speak about it right now,” Scory said. “I wasn’t even worried at first, it’s so overwhelming. I don’t know what to do about it. No idea what to do right now.”
Weather in the search area was periods of drizzle with temperatures in the lower 50s.
The sheriff’s office said they will resume the search on Friday, but Haynes and Scory worry that may be too late.
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