PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A body found Sunday afternoon downstream of the St. John’s Bridge on the west side of the Willamette River is believed to be Owen Klinger, his parents said Monday.
Dispatchers took the call about a body being found around 1 p.m. Sunday. KOIN 6 News learned the body was found on the beach near the Nustar fuel dock in the 9400 block of NW St. Helens Road.
The body is currently with the Multnomah County Medical Examiner.
In a statement, Mary and Dustin Klinger said:
“Portland police have notified us that they have recovered a body that we believe is our son, Owen Klinger. We deeply appreciate the extraordinary effort and support that thousands of people have provided over the past two weeks. We now ask for privacy as we move forward with our healing process.”
Later Monday evening, the University of Portland released the following statement:
“Based upon conversations with family representatives and law enforcement, the University joins the Klinger family in their belief that Owen, their son and our community member, has died. An official statement from the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office confirming Owen’s death is forthcoming. Owen’s family has requested privacy at this time. May we all pray for Owen’s eternal rest, for consolation for his family and friends, and for abiding hope within our University community.”
The university’s president, Rev. Mark L. Poorman, then took to Twitter where he posted a 10-part thread on the news of the tragic discovery. “Owen’s loss is keenly felt,” Poorman said in the post. “Kind, generous, and loyal, he was a person who lived for others. He gave deeply of himself. He loved earnestly.”
“This is an awful catastrophe for our whole community,” said Paul Schireman, a junior at the university. “It’s kind of one of those things that you do not expect to happen around you, let alone at your school—especially one of this size.”
Background on his disappearance
The 18-year-old was the subject of numerous searches after he vanished more than 2 weeks ago.
Owen Klinger vanished on the evening of Sunday, Oct. 6 after he told his friends he was off to a team meeting.
The 18-year-old did not attend any team meetings, according to detectives, but instead withdrew money from a campus ATM and left campus around 7:50 p.m. that night.
Police originally said Owen turned his cellphone off after leaving the ATM but they corrected that statement on Friday, saying the phone has not been sending or receiving data.
Owen was last seen walking in the area near North Willamette Boulevard, North Portsmouth Avenue and North Lombard Street, police said.
KOIN 6 News will have more information later.