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Snow hampers search for missing boy at Crater Lake


Searchers hoped for better weather as they resumed a search for an 8-year-old boy lost in the woods at Crater Lake National Park.

As of this morning, Sammie Boehlke of Portland had been missing three nights in the park.

He went missing Saturday afternoon, and since Sunday, the park recorded snowfall ranging from 6 inches to 2 feet. The park averages more than 500 inches of snow a winter.

More snow and wind was in the forecast, but searchers were still hopeful.

"We're just hoping for a break in the weather," said Michael Justin, a spokesman for the park.

The youth wandered away from his father, Kenneth Boehlke, just east of the Cleetwood Cove trailhead parking lot, said park spokesman Michael Justin.

"The last the father saw of him he ran into a wooded area of the park on the north side of the road, away from the lake," Justin said.

Justin said searchers still believe the boy could be alive, despite overnight temperatures below freezing.

About 175 people were in the search parties. Local rescue workers were getting help as the Park Service called on resources from Mount Rainier and Kings Canyon national parks.

"We are 100 percent committed and devoted to finding him alive," said park Superintendent Chuck Lundy. "We'll take this one day at a time until we find him."

The father's family, the Boehlkes, and the mother's family, the Beckers, issued a statement: "We know that some of the best search and rescue people in the Northwest and beyond are here around the clock. Those searching, both volunteers and professionals, are enduring rough conditions in the cold and wet snow. We are so thankful for their perseverance and expertise. We continue to hope for a good outcome, and we keep the faith that Sammie will be found."

The boy was dressed in cargo pants, a blue winter jacket, a longsleeve green and black striped T-shirt, and red shoes.

The boy and his father had been staying at Diamond Lake and headed up to Crater Lake on Saturday for a father-son hike, Justin said.

The search area is at more than 7,000 feet at the crest of the Cascade Range.