Tyler Batch of Port Orford was found in good condition in Powers Wednesday afternoon after spending a week alone in the backcountry — and hours before a winter storm was forecast to hit the coast.
He had been reported missing Jan. 13 after he borrowed a friend’s vehicle Jan. 10 and didn’t return. The vehicle was found abandoned on a forest service road about 32 miles east of Port Orford and halfway between Powers and U.S. Highway 101.
“Batch said his car had broken down and he started walking, but the roads dead-ended so he tried following creeks,” said Curry County Sheriff John Ward. “He said he finally found a road and followed it, flagged down a vehicle who gave him a ride into Powers. Batch said he was very hungry and somewhat disoriented, but other than that he was OK.”
The search began after Wanda Coker of Port Orford called his office Jan. 13 to report Batch missing after several unsuccessful searches into the backcountry to find him.
A Powers man found Batch “in the woods,” although it was not known as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday where that was.
According to Curry County Sheriff John Ward, Wanda Coker of Port Orford called his office Jan. 13 to report Batch missing after several unsuccessful searches into the backcountry to find him.
Coker said she’d loaned her gold 1999 Dodge Stratus to Batch Jan. 9 and not seen the vehicle or him since. The vehicle was later found on Forest Service Road 3353, near the Coos County border.
“A group of us made our way up to the car Monday with a spare key, but the car is broken down,” Melba Lambright, a friend, wrote on social media Tuesday. “There were jumper cables on the front seat, indicating there might have been another car there... We don’t know if he got a ride out or tried to walk back to town.”
The following Saturday night, Coos County Sheriff’s Office called Curry County officials to say a citizen had found a car fitting the description of Coker’s vehicle “in the middle of the road.” No one was around and it appeared abandoned, Ward’s report reads.
Coos County officials tried to retrieve the car, but were blocked by a washout on the road in that county.
On Jan. 14, Coos and Curry county sheriff’s personnel searched roadways in their respective counties, and Curry Search and Rescue members headed out on ATVs to search other roads.
This Tuesday, the search was expanded to include Lobster and Eucher creek roads, the Agness pass and several other main and spur roads in between, all to no avail. Wednesday, only a few searchers and friends went out again; some returned home because trees were falling in high winds.
Wednesday, crews were again out in the backcountry looking for the man.