Friends keep looking for hiker with ‘big personality’

Annie Schmidt has been missing since October 16

Annie Snyder is among the searchers looking for hiker Annie Schmidt in the Columbia River Gorge, October 24, 2016 (KOIN)
Annie Snyder is among the searchers looking for hiker Annie Schmidt in the Columbia River Gorge, October 24, 2016 (KOIN)

NEAR THE BONNEVILLE DAM, Ore. (KOIN) — Though the official search has been suspended, friends and family of Annie Schmidt continue to look for her in the Gorge.

The 21-year-old hiker, who recently moved to Portland from Utah, went missing 8 days ago. Her car was found last week and her cell phone was pinged, but hundreds of volunteers and search-and-rescue crews have not been able to find her.

Police are searching for 21-year-old Anna Schmidt whose car was found Thursday near the Bonneville Dam. (PPB)
Police are searching for 21-year-old Anna Schmidt whose car was found Thursday near the Bonneville Dam. (PPB)

“She is so important to us and many people that can’t be here,” her roommate, Annie Snyder, said. “Anyone who has met her knows how big of a personality she is.”

A similar search took place last winter when a 37-year-old woman went missing near Multnomah Falls. Crews searched nearly 200 miles of trails, but her body was never found.

“The problem is there’s so much on the ground, so much foliage on the ground that we can’t see through,” Snyder said. “We are really just searching, trying to search every inch.”

Hiking expert Tiffany Searsdodd tells KOIN 6 News it’s important for hikers to be aware of their surroundings and to let someone know where they’re going.

Searsdodd said there are 10 essentials to pack when hiking alone or in a group:

  • Map of the area
  • Compass
  • Emergency blankets
  • Fire starter
  • Headlamp/flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Knife
  • Water bottle
  • Protein bars

Multnomah County officials will resume the search if credible leads are developed.

Annie’s parents, Michelle and Jon Schmidt, joined the search efforts last week. Michelle said she does not believe Annie survived, but they want to recover her body.

The family is asking for experienced hikers to help with the search.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

Annie Schmidt in an undated photo provided by her family, October 22, 2016
Annie Schmidt in an undated photo provided by her family, October 22, 2016