Early Monday morning, around 3:00 a.m., deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and troopers with the Oregon State Police responded to a call for help at Silver Falls State Park. Joshua Dixsen, age 25, of Salem called to report his girlfriend and her 3 year old child were lost somewhere inside the state park.
Mr. Dixsen, his girlfriend Josie Chysm, age 24 of Salem and her three year old son left for a hike around noon on Sunday. Sometime during the hike the family became disoriented and lost. After the sunset, the couple decided that Ms. Chysm and her son would wait under a tree while Mr. Dixsen walked out for help.
Searchers with the Marion County Search and Rescue Team responded to the area and began coordinating efforts both on foot and in vehicles. At 8:30 Monday morning ground searchers located Ms. Chysm and her son along the Rim Trail inside of the park. The Sheriff’s Office is happy to report that the pair were okay – just cold and wet.
At the time of this release rescuers are walking the pair out where they will be evaluated by paramedics and reunited with family. When the family set out they had very limited gear and were not prepared for the winter weather.
Experts with our Search and Rescue Team recommend you always carry enough supplies to survive at least 24 hours even when setting out on a day hike. These items should consist of food, water, first aid supplies, warm clothing and instruments for navigation. Often times in these remote areas cellphones don’t work so hikers should be prepared to treat any injuries until rescuers can arrive.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Oregon State Police, Oregon State Parks, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Mountain Wave Search and Rescue, Marion County Sheriff’s Office Team 18 and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Jeep Patrol.