Ashford search resumes after suspension of initial search efforts

Kitsap WESAR is headed back to Ashford tomorrow morning with a dozen searchers to resume the search for Mr. Kim. Our folks were on the ground for three of the five days that the initial phase of this search took place. Tomorrow, we hope to be part of the effort to finally bring him home.

FROM PIERCE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE:

Tomorrow morning our Search & Rescue Team will be resuming efforts to locate 72 year old Chang Soo Kim of Spanaway, who has been missing in the Ashford area of Pierce County since Memorial Day weekend.

Chang Soo Kim disappeared on Saturday May 25, 2019, while picking ferns with his family approximately 7 miles up a Forest Service Road in the Beaver Creek area. He was last seen by his family members at 11:30 a.m. as they split up to pick ferns in the dense forest. Kim had no major health concerns, but was hard of hearing and does not speak English; he was last seen wearing a brown and navy jacket, a blue shirt, jeans, and black shoes and was carrying a small backpack.

A massive 5 day long search effort was coordinated by our Search & Rescue Team to try to locate the missing man. The search included a PCSD airplane, a King County Sheriff’s Department helicopter, a Lakewood Police drone and a Cowlitz County Sheriff’s drone, air scent dogs, ground scent dogs, 4×4 units, and a truly incredible effort by volunteer ground searchers from Pierce County Search & Rescue, King County Search & Rescue, Kitsap County, Kittitas County, Thurston County, Clark County, Cowlitz County Search & Rescue teams.

On Monday May 27 searchers were able to locate footprints and Kim’s backpack in a ravine that is surrounded by very dense forest and rough terrain. Ground searchers and K9 units searched the ravine, marsh, and creek areas nearby but were unable to locate any additional signs of the missing man.
Search efforts were suspended on Wednesday May 29, and will resume tomorrow morning with additional ground searchers and K9 units.

We would like to give a big thank you to all of the amazing volunteers who assisted – and continue to assist – in searching for Chang Soo Kim, and who searched for the two missing hikers who were found earlier this week. The incredible tireless work of volunteers from groups including Pierce County Explorer Search and Rescue, Tacoma Mountain Rescue Unit, German Shepherd Search Dogs, Pierce County 4×4 Search & Rescue, Northwest Bloodhounds Search & Rescue, and The Soup Ladies continues to show the best of our community. We are blessed to work with you and we greatly appreciate your compassion and dedication to rescuing and recovering the lost.

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