Oregon searchers plan final search for missing Piedmont man

Authorities searching the Oregon wilderness for Dustin Self, 19, of Piedmont, who left Oklahoma for a long camping trip after seeing the movie “Into the Wild,” will attempt one more sweep this weekend of the mountainside where he was last seen in April.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: May 2, 2013 at 7:10 pm •  Published: May 3, 2013
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Searchers on horseback will do one more sweep this weekend of an Oregon mountainside where a Piedmont man went missing in April.

Harney County Sheriff Dave Glerup said searchers have found no trace of Dustin Self, 19, since his pickup was found April 15 by a rancher on the side of a backcountry road on Steens Mountain.

“We have had some possible sightings reported, but none of them have panned out,” Glerup said Thursday. “It's warmed up, so this weekend we are going to have search-and-rescue go back out on horseback.”

Self left his parents' home in Piedmont in March after being inspired by the movie “Into the Wild.” He planned to take a long camping trip and look into two Oregon churches that use a hallucinogenic tea as a sacrament.

Friends and family haven't heard from Self since March 16. His abandoned pickup was found April 15. His laptop, keys, cellphone and some supplies were in the truck.

Self's backpack and camping gear were not in the pickup. Heavy snow and freezing temperatures on the mountain in the past few weeks would have made camping tough for even an experienced outdoorsman, Glerup said.

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