Search party planned today for Ronnie Eaton


News staff writer

February 10, 2007

There has been no movement on the bank account or credit cards of a Hood River man missing for the past two weeks — and his cell phone has not been turned on.

On Saturday, all interested community members are invited to join a massive ground search for 36-year-old Ronnie Eaton.

Mark Brennan, a family friend, is organizing the effort to scout the terrain along all of the county roadways, both paved and graveled. He said as many volunteers are needed as possible to take on the “huge” task that will continue next weekend if necessary.

“We have a county map and it’s a big chunk to search – but we’ll just keep nibbling away at it,” he said.

The search staging area will be the parking lot of the LDS Church at the junction of May and 18th streets (just west of Aquatic Center). Brennan said the main body of searchers will organize at 9:30 a.m. but late arrivals will also be welcome.

“We’ll just appreciate any help that we get,” he said.

Hood River Police Detective Andy Frasier said a nationwide alert has been put out for the 2005 blue Honda Accord driven by Ronnie Eaton. The license plate to that vehicle reads “856 BZF.”

Eaton was last seen at his place of employment on Jan. 25. Friends and family members contend that it is out of character for him to show up for work — or leave town without notifying anyone.

“There’s just been no movement on this case but Sheriff Joe Wampler has been flying low over recreation areas that Mr. Eaton liked to visit. His family has also been checking out the places along the coast that he liked to go,” said Frasier. “It is possible that he decided to get away from the stresses of life for awhile — but we also can’t rule out the possibility of foul play.”

Fliers with Eaton’s picture and physical description have been circulated throughout the Gorge. He stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. His eyes are blue and he has dark brown hair and a goatee.

The casual clothes that Eaton was wearing on the day that he vanished include jeans, a T-shirt, jacket and tennis shoes.

Frasier asks anyone with information about the case to call his direct line at 387-5251. Brennan can be reached for more information about the search via e-mail at

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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