Medical examiner confirms body is Tollefson

The 87-year-old man went missing in December; the cause of death likely is hypothermia and exposure

The Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office has confirmed that a body found in a remote area north of Wimer Sunday is Truman Tollefson, 87, of Medford.

Dr. James Olson positively identified Tollefson during an autopsy conducted Tuesday, Medford police said in a release. The medical examiner determined the death was accidental, likely by exposure and hypothermia, police said.

The body was found by a man cutting firewood at about 11 a.m. Sunday at milepost 9 of Upper Grave Creek Road. Tollefson's body was found near the car he was driving the day he disappeared, a 1981 Buick Century.

Tollefson disappeared on Dec. 5, 2012. He had driven first to the bank, then to Safeway, a routine he'd done many times before. The last known image shows him in Wells Fargo Bank at 5:13 p.m.

When Tollefson failed to return home, Medford police and Jackson County Sheriff's Department's Search & Rescue combed rural areas across the region, from the ground and air, looking for him.

Investigators have said Tollefson's vehicle appeared to have become stuck when he tried to turn around at a dead-end portion of Upper Grave Creek Road.

"He probably got lost and drove up there, and has probably been up there since the day he went missing," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said shortly after the body was found.

The man who found the vehicle was in the area to cut firewood and had to remove a fallen tree which had blocked the road, according to Medford police.

"We don't know how long that log was blocking the roadway. That's a very remote area, it had a pretty decent amount of snowfall during the winter," Budreau said.


Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.
COUPON OF THE WEEK