LOWELL, Ore. (AP) – A mushroom picker missing for three days in the Willamette National Forest has been found dead just about a half mile from where she parked her minivan, a Lane County search and rescue coordinator says.
Two black Chow mix dogs were with Dodie Throssel when she disappeared on Saturday. The dogs helped a group of Linn County Explorer Scouts locate her body in a steep drainage area at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, Lane County Search and Rescue Coordinator John Miller said.
"They actually responded to us and helped assist us in finding her," Miller told The Register-Guard.
It wasn't immediately clear whether the 54-year-old Springfield woman died from exposure, injury or another cause, he said.
Throssel and two friends drove Saturday to Goodman Creek Road, on the south side of Highway 58, to hunt for chanterelle mushrooms. Throssel left her two friends, a man and a woman, and drove by herself a couple of miles farther up the road to an elevation of about 3,600 feet, Miller said.
She parked her van on the side of a gravel road. When she failed to return, her friends hiked up the road and found her van. They searched and called out for her before calling 911 after darkness fell, Miller said.
Throssel's two sons, Shane Throssel, 30, of Eugene, and Micah Throssel, 32, of Peoria, Ariz., spent Tuesday looking for their mother. Both said they were puzzled by her disappearance and the fact she had gone off by herself.
Dodie Throssel had been an avid mushroom picker for years, Shane Throssel said. But she usually went searching in the Fall Creek area, where she had gotten lost overnight before on a couple of occasions, he said. She waited until daylight to find her way out on her own, he said.
Snow had fallen in the area since Throssel vanished, and on Tuesday it covered the windshield and roof of the van, as well as much of the ground.
She was dressed in tennis shoes, blue jeans, a short-sleeved shirt, light jacket and vest.
About 40 volunteer searchers from Lane, Linn and Benton counties searched for the missing woman, often in pounding rain, thunderstorms and high winds on Sunday and Monday.
- Information from: The Register-Guard
An old family photo of Dodie Throssel provided by Sue Throssel: