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Thread: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

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    Member lumber man's Avatar
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    Default indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    MERLIN, Ore. (AP) -- A San Francisco man who got stranded in the snowy wilderness with his family nearly two weeks ago was found dead Wednesday in a mountain creek, authorities said.
    James Kim's body was discovered in Oregon's snowy Coast Range two days after his wife and two daughters were rescued from their car, stuck on a remote road. Kim had set out on foot over the weekend to find help for his family.
    Ground crews and helicopters had been searching the area for Kim for days.
    Kim, 35, was a senior editor for the technology media company CNET Networks Inc. He and his family had been missing since Nov. 25.
    A pair of pants Kim had been wearing was found in the wilderness on Tuesday, raising fears that he had become delirious from the cold.
    Searchers were emotional as they broke the news at temporary headquarters near the mountain road the Kim family took as they headed home to San Francisco from a holiday trip to the Pacific Northwest.
    Earlier, Kati Kim told officers they were traveling south from Portland on Interstate 5 and missed the turnoff to a state highway, Oregon 42, that leads through the Coast Range to Gold Beach, where they planned to stay at a resort.
    Officers said the couple used a map to choose the road they were on. "They got the map out - a regular highway map - that showed the route," Anderson said.
    However, it wasn't clear whose map the couple used. The 2005-2007 state highway map distributed by the Oregon Department of Transportation has a warning in red print, inside a red box: "This route closed in winter." A Rand-McNally map did not have a similar warning.
    On Monday, searchers in a private helicopter hired by the family spotted Kati Kim, 30, and daughters Penelope, 4, and Sabine, 7 months. They were released from a hospital in Grants Pass on Tuesday.
    After leaving Portland on Interstate 5, search leaders said, the couple missed a turnoff that leads to the coast and took a wrong turn on a twisty mountain road they chose as an alternative.
    Stuck, they used their car heater until they ran out of gas then burned tires to stay warm and attract attention. With only a few jars of baby food and limited supplies, Kati Kim nursed her children.
    The area's complicated road network is commonly used by whitewater rafters on the Rogue River or as a shortcut to the coast in the summer, but it is not plowed in the winter.
    ---

    horrible news obviously, i was really hoping they would find this guy alive.(sorry about the thread title, he was from san francisco)

  2. #2
    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    Several of my wife's friends sell at this family's store. They are all really torn up about this.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Member Frank Slade's Avatar
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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    Very tragic, I was holding out the slim chance he made it.

    Had he stayed put they all could have been rescued, but you can't fault him for putting his family first, to go find help.

    RIP James Kim

    Why Not Us ?


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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    This sucks.

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    IMPD Officer MarionDeputy's Avatar
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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    Very Sad, there is a lesson to be learned as well. You are much better off staying put, unless you know exactly where your going.
    "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post."

    --Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men

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    Cheeseburger in Paradise Los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    Quote Originally Posted by MarionDeputy View Post
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    Very Sad, there is a lesson to be learned as well. You are much better off staying put, unless you know exactly where your going.
    After sitting there for a full week and not a single car going by, do you really blame him?
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

    “If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird

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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    One wonders why he didn't just head back down the road they came in on. It appears he decided to backcountry it.

    One also wonders why seasonal roads weren't searched as an obvious route they might have taken. Then again, maybe the car was white and they did.

    BTW - here's a link to a Google Earth map of where the car was found. It's near the top left of the satellite image - having a hard time keeping the link lined up. Pan up one click, then left one click and it's roughly centered.

    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&z=15...,0.069051&om=1

    Use this sfgate image for reference.

    http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/art...MP9383.DTL&o=3
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    IMPD Officer MarionDeputy's Avatar
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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    After sitting there for a full week and not a single car going by, do you really blame him?
    No I don't blame him, nor was I trying to associate blame. But the fact of the matter is that if he stayed with his family he would have been found with them, most likely alive, as his wife and children were. If you look at any survival guidelines, they always recommend you stay at your original disaster/crash site. Unless you know exactly where to walk to. Walking through rugged terrain is extremely dangerous. It's not a slam on him, he is a hero for trying, but it's been proven more than once that the odds are in your favor to just stay put. It also seems ridiculous to me that there isn't some sort of warning that the road is closed, and shouldn't be used before you get to a point where you can get stuck. The real tragedy, is that in the modern world, someone can even get thereself into this situation.
    "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post."

    --Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men

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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    Quote Originally Posted by MarionDeputy View Post
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    It also seems ridiculous to me that there isn't some sort of warning that the road is closed, and shouldn't be used before you get to a point where you can get stuck.
    That surprises me a little but not tremendously. Where I'm from we have signs but the PNW is a lot bigger.

    The real tragedy, is that in the modern world, someone can even get thereself into this situation.
    True, the guy and his wife were idiots.

    I won't pass judgement on anything they did once they got stuck (though the thought that you're in the middle of a forest and the only thing you can find to burn are your car's tires amazes me) but the list of stupid things they did before that is very, very long.

    They left with two babies on an 8-10 hour trip to Portland, in the winter (in any but the technical sense) without winter clothes, blankets, an emergency kit, etc., etc.

    Then for some reason they decide to turn off onto a marginal road.

    A big chunk of life is managing risk. You're at risk any time you pull your car out of the driveway but he and his wife took none of the basic steps necessary to reduce that risk. And then they decided to backcountry it.

    It burns me a little whenever I read the quote, "James Kim did nothing wrong."

    He may be - probably is - a hero. He and/or his wife also did many things wrong - things that ultimately helped kill him.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    IMPD Officer MarionDeputy's Avatar
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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    The other thing that doesn't make sense to me is why he chose to walk through the woods, why not walk back down the road the car was stuck on, to the major road he turned off of? If I was going to walk out, thats the way I would have gone. Not trying to Monday morning quarterback him, I guess I would just like to know what the issues were. Like I said before, if people learn from this, his death won't be in vain.
    "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post."

    --Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan Jessup in A Few Good Men

  11. #11

    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    Anyone else heard of Ernest Shackelton or Douglas Mawson? Both were Antarctic explorers who's expeditions went awry. Shackelton's ship got locked into the ice and then was crushed and sank. Mawson's three-man team lost all its food and supplies down a crevasse when they were about 500 miles from anywhere.

    Mawson dragged himself back to the station, barely alive, frostbitten, starved, poisoned, and injured. Shackelton managed to save his entire crew. The stories of both men are amazing and inspiring.

    I don't mean to draw any judgemental contrast between them and James Kim. They were experienced explorers, and he wasn't. So it's not reasonable to expect too much of him and MarionDeputy is probably right in saying he should have stayed put. But I mention Shackelton and Mawson because they are two great examples of what is possible under extreme duress.
    And I won't be here to see the day
    It all dries up and blows away
    I'd hang around just to see
    But they never had much use for me
    In Levelland. (James McMurtry)

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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    Quote Originally Posted by MarionDeputy View Post
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    The other thing that doesn't make sense to me is why he chose to walk through the woods, why not walk back down the road the car was stuck on, to the major road he turned off of? If I was going to walk out, thats the way I would have gone. Not trying to Monday morning quarterback him, I guess I would just like to know what the issues were. Like I said before, if people learn from this, his death won't be in vain.
    From what was on the news this AM, when he left the car he told his wife he was going back down the road to a town they'd passed - he told her it was about 4 miles back. It was actually 15.

    From the sound of things he went down that road for a few miles, then cut back after hitting a wash/creek. He probably had no clue of distance and how far he had walked when he gave up on the road.

    BTW - According to the latest CNN article warning signs are posted on the road but it's also an area where people frequently become stranded and last year a family in a motor home was stranded up there for 2 weeks before walking out. Lotta comments about beefing up SAR.

    The SAR is puzzling to me. Where I grew up it was not an unknown occurrence for the Sheriff to contact locals to fire up their snowmobiles or saddle their horses and help with a search. Folks were happy to do this. It would seem that when someone in an area is lost, covering every backcountry road on a snowmobile at least once should be an early part of the search process.
    The poster formerly known as Rimfire

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: indystar: missing oregon man found dead

    Quote Originally Posted by DisplacedKnick View Post
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    From what was on the news this AM, when he left the car he told his wife he was going back down the road to a town they'd passed - he told her it was about 4 miles back. It was actually 15.

    From the sound of things he went down that road for a few miles, then cut back after hitting a wash/creek. He probably had no clue of distance and how far he had walked when he gave up on the road.
    I was under the impression he saw a town on the map and judged it to be about 4 miles when in fact it was 15 miles but was not a town they'd passed. It was somewhere he saw on the map that he deemed 'close'. And he was judging it 'as the crow flies' and that is the path he took (well, not exactly as the crow flies because I believe he was using a creek as a reference and was following it).

    I'm curious as well why he didn't just go back up/down the road. I'm more curious why the rescuers didn't traverse the 'closed' roads a little more in the first place. I'm also curious if the rescuers ASSUMED the family would do certain things to be better seen (like make a flag with clothes or writing a large "HELP" in the snow... or something). It would appear from what I heard that they were using helicopters and it sounds like (unfortunately) they just weren't visible to the helicopters for whatever reason.

    -Bball
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