Parents: ‘Owen Klinger was a beautiful soul’

Multnomah County

Parents said his body was found near St. Johns Bridge

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The parents of Owen Klinger thanked everyone who helped search for their 18-year-old son during the 2 weeks he was missing. Mary and Dustin Klinger said a body found near the St. Johns Bridge on Sunday was him.

The Klingers briefly spoke after a regularly scheduled mass at the University of Portland brought friends and family together.

UP President Fr. Mark Poorman said the mass was a chance to “remember Owen and to mourn the loss of Owen.”

University of Portland President Fr. Mark Poorman, October 22,2019 (KOIN)

Mary Klinger repeatedly thanked everyone who helped in the search for Owen, who was last seen October 6.

“So many people stepped outside of their own work lives to help us search for Owen,” she said. “We are so grateful for everyone who took a flyer, who knocked on doors, all the media stations who covered this, friends near and far who shared Owen’s story on the internet, on social media. We cannot thank you enough.”

Friends and family of Owen Klinger leave mass on the University of Portland, October 22, 2019 (KOIN)

Fighting back tears, she spoke about her son.

“Owen was such a beautiful, beautiful soul. We were all blessed by the chance we had to know him. When he started college here I wanted him to be present in this place and make a contribution to the group. And when I gave him that advice I did not think he was listening. But he has made a tremendous contribution to this group by revealing how much we need each other and how connected we all are.”

Dustin Klinger said they are “eternally grateful” for the time, talent and prayers that have poured out over the past few weeks.

University of Portland spokesperson Michael Lewellyn said plans for a memorial service haven’t been finalized. He also said law enforcement and the medical examiner’s office are still involved at this time.

Undated photos of missing University of Portland student Owen Klinger. (Courtesy of Kliger Family)

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