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Missing Roseburg Man Found Alive After 17 Days In Wilderness

Douglas County Sheriff

After 17 nights in the wilderness, 69 year-old Harry Burleigh has been found alive and rescued by Search and Rescue crews.

Burleigh's fishing gear and a shelter was found in the Calf Creek area the weekend of May 15. Douglas County Search and Rescue called in additional resources from Jackson County, Lake County and  Siskiyou County to conduct another mission in the area on May 23.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said in a release that at around 3:00 Sunday afternoon, a team of searchers from Jackson County SAR located a shelter southwest of the original shelter found last weekend. The search crews called out to Mr. Burleigh who responded back. He was found to be walking and complaining of minor pain, but was in stable condition.

Credit Douglas County Sheriff
Searchers exit a Brim helicopter after finding 69-year-old Harry Burleigh alive on Sunday, May 23, 2021.

Burleigh was hoisted by a Brim helicopter and transported to a waiting Lifeflight helicopter. Lifeflight later took him to an out of area hospital for evaluation. 

DCSO Sgt. Brad O'Dell rleased a statement Sunday saying "this was the outcome we all have been looking for in this case. It is because of our determined Search and Rescue Teams and the partnerships we have with other SAR teams from around the state, that Mr. Burleigh has been re-united with his family this evening. The Sheriff's Office wants to thank everyone who was involved in this mission."

Burleigh was reported missing on Friday, May 7 after he failed to return home from a camping trip. When he was first reported missing, family members said Burleigh, a fisherman, was believed to have attempted to walk into the lakes to fish before going home.

Credit Douglas County Sheriff
Over the past two weeks, friends and family of Harry Burleigh left signs and food hoping he would find them.

As the search continued over the past two weeks, Burleigh's family and friends had been leaving signs and food, hoping Burleigh would find them.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue team was supported by 16 other agencies and organizations.

Copyright 2021, KLCC

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.
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