NEAR THE BONNEVILLE DAM, Ore. (KOIN) — The sixth day of a search for Annie Schmidt brought more than 150 volunteers to work with search-and-rescue crews near the Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River Gorge.
Her parents, Michelle and Jon Schmidt, were among those searching for the 21-year-old hiker who recently moved to Portland from Utah. Michelle Schmidt, though, believes this is now a recovery mission.
“I don’t think she’s still alive. I don’t think she’s survived,” Michelle Schmidt told KOIN 6 News. “Honestly, that brings me comfort knowing she is with her Heavenly Father, that she’s not hurting, that she’s not suffering. But we do want to find her body.”
Annie is described by friends and family as an avid hiker, a musically gifted young woman. She moved to Portland from Salt Lake City after she got a job here.
She was last seen on October 16, and reported missing on Wednesday by her mother. The 21-year-old’s car was found Thursday off exit 40 on I-84 EB near the Bonneville Dam in the Columbia River Gorge. PPB Sgt. Pete Simpson said her car appeared to have been broken into, but it’s unclear what was stolen.
Michelle Schmidt told KOIN 6 News Annie’s bank charges show she last ate Pho and stopped at a Beaverton gas station.
Lt. Chad Gaidos with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said there are no significant leads.
“We processed data all through the day, so at this point we don’t have anything specifically identifying what particular trail,” Gaidos said Saturday.
Annie’s last cellphone ping came from the Toothrock Trailhead area, which is where searchers staged and began on Saturday.
“A man and his son came yesterday with their dog,” Michelle Schmidt said. “He said, ‘I have a daughter.’ That’s all he needed to say.”
She said she’s been overwhelmed by the volunteers who came from across the region to search on Saturday.
“We need to remember that we love each other. We care about each other,” she said.
The search continues. KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.