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Police Report: Pierce team to assist in river search

Wednesday, April 30, 2003
By JOHN BRANTON, Columbian staff writer

Officials in Skamania County today plan to use a sophisticated rope system in an attempt to recover the body of a 32-year-old woman who was thrown from a raft in the Wind River on Sunday.

    Lauren Orton of Portland was missing and presumed drowned near High Bridge, two miles north of Carson, said Skamania County Sheriff Dave Brown.

    Immediately after the raft hit a rock and threw her out, Orton was carried over a 6-foot waterfall.

    Orton's life jacket and helmet floated to the surface nearby. Searchers looked two miles downstream, finding nothing. They now suspect the body is trapped under the waterfall in water too turbulent for scuba divers.

    A whitewater rescue team from the Pierce County Sheriff's Office was scheduled to arrive this morning, Brown said.

    Under the plan, they would set up a rope system, then suspend a small raft over the surging water. A person in the raft would use a probe to find and dislodge the body.


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Copyright 2003 by The Columbian Publishing Co. P.O. Box 180, Vancouver, WA 98666. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to photocopy, photograph, magnetic or other record, without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher.


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