Search fails, Maureen Kelly family ‘heartbroken’

Maureen Kelly, seen in an undated photo. (Courtesy, June 15, 2013)
Maureen Kelly, seen in an undated photo. (Courtesy, June 15, 2013)

SKAMANIA COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN) — After another day of looking in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for a naked 19-year-old missing for nearly a week, the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office announced they are suspending the search.

This is the search area in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest where teams looked for Maureen Kelly, June 15, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

This is the search area in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest where teams looked for Maureen Kelly, June 15, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

Maureen Kelly was last seen around 5 p.m. Sunday at Canyon Creek wearing nothing but a fanny pack. Her friends said she was on a “spiritual quest” when she went into the forest.

About 75 search volunteers from 17 different

One of the 75 searchers who looked for Maureen Kelly in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, June 15, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

One of the 75 searchers who looked for Maureen Kelly in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, June 15, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

search-and-rescure groups took part in the  day-long search that covered about four square miles.

There was no trace of the young woman from Vancouver.

“We have utilized very professional search and rescue personnel during these operations,” Undersheriff Dave Cox said.  “For us to not be able to locate Ms. Kelly is very frustrating to everyone involved.”

Maureen Kelly's cousin, Uilani Kaupu, June 15, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

Maureen Kelly’s cousin, Uilani Kaupu, June 15, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

Kelly’s cousin, Uilani Kaupu, told KOIN 6 News the events are heartbreaking.

“There’s a lot of things that have been running through our mind ever since we found out, and there’s just no leads to anything,” she said.

A search dog tracked Kelly’s scent across a

Search dogs were used to track Maureen Kelly in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. They did not find the missing woman, June 15, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

Search dogs were used to track Maureen Kelly in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. They did not find the missing woman, June 15, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

creek, but that scent ended at a nearby road.

“You know, someone may have picked her up,” Cox said. “I mean you could run with this and write a novel off it being from the law enforcement side of things. We think of all the scenarios.”

They have no reason to suspect foul play. But it’s a possibility she was injured.

Kelly’s family said they will keep looking for her.

“It’s just heartbreaking to have to keep searching and you know nothing.”

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