Rescuers search for missing Oklahoma teen on Oregon mountain range

April 18, 2013 at 3:20 PM   |   Comments

BURNS, Ore., April 18 (UPI) -- Rescuers in southeastern Oregon were searching a mountain area for a missing teenager who may have deliberately left civilization, officials said.

Dustin Self, 19, left his home in Oklahoma and was making his way to the Klamath Falls–Medford-Ashland area of Oregon to get away from civilization for a while, his mother, Tammy Self, told The (Portland) Oregonian.

"He told us he was going to be gone for a few months, and he would be off the grid," she said in a telephone interview. "We don't know if we should be really worried or not."

Victor Self, Dustin's father, reported his son missing to the Harney County Sheriff's Office about a month ago when Dustin called his ex-girlfriend and told her he was lost somewhere near the Steens Mountain in southeastern Oregon.

"He did sound worried, and that is why we started worrying," Tammy Self said.

A rancher reported finding Self's pickup truck Monday on a nameless road on the mountain's Alvord Desert side, Missy Ousley, a 911 dispatcher for the Harney County Sheriff's Office told the newspaper.

When officers found the truck Tuesday, there was no sign of Dustin Self, what direction he may have traveled after leaving the vehicle, or how long the truck had been there.

"It was off an embankment" in a remote area at about 5,100-feet elevation, Ousley said. "We have done a ground search as far as the road would permit us to travel."

Rescuers waiting Wednesday for strong winds to let up over the Steens Mountain so they could search the area with an aircraft.

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