Multnomah County authorities have recovered the body of Jennifer Moore, a woman who went missing during a Columbia River Gorge landslide near the town of Dodson earlier this month.
On Saturday, a private contractor was able to use ground-penetrating radar to locate Moore’s car, which the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said was buried under 15 feet of mud, rock, logs and other debris.
“It’s not the outcome everyone would have hoped for, but at least at this point it brings closure to the family and allows them to begin that grieving process,” said River Patrol Unit Sgt. Steve Dangler.
Moore’s vehicle was swept away by a landslide at approximately 1:15 a.m. Jan. 13 as she drove eastbound on NE Frontage Road near Interstate 84 in Dodson. In the days following the landslide, searchers identified an area in the debris flow where they believed Moore’s vehicle likely came to rest.
To reach the location, road crews used heavy machinery such as front loaders and dump trucks to remove debris. During the initial search, firefighters used a drone and looked for heat sources using a thermal imaging camera, but were unsuccessful.
With the area made unstable by the landslide, searching was difficult.
Sgt. Dangler speaks to the challenges and complexities of this recovery. pic.twitter.com/fgD3SrUwzI
— Multnomah Co. Sheriff’s Office (@MultCoSO) January 23, 2021
“What we dealt with today is something I personally had never seen before, with how much rock and debris there was in and around the area and within the vehicle,” Dangler said at the scene. “It was a really tough day, but we were able to accomplish our goal and, again, bring closure to the family.”
Moore, 50, of Warrendale, was an oncology nurse at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center for 17 years, according to the hospital.
The Oregon Department of Transportation will continue to clear and remove tons of debris from the roadway and surrounding area. The Ainsworth State Park exit and NE Frontage Road remain closed.
Multiple agencies assisted in the recovery on Saturday and during the 10-day search, including Corbett Fire, Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office and Water Rescue, Clackamas Fire and ODOT.
Stephanie Lawson, a Canby resident as well as a friend and coworker of Moore’s at Good Sam, started a GoFundMe campaign for the family that has raised nearly $30,000 — almost $25,000 more than its initial goal.
“The success of this GoFundMe is a true testament to the enormous impact that Jenny made on so many,” Lawson said on the page. “Thank you doesn’t seem enough for all who have contributed to supporting the Moore family. They are beyond grateful and appreciative of the support and good wishes.”
Lawson described Moore as an amazing woman, compassionate nurse, trusted colleague, wife, mother and a wonderful friend — with an infectious laugh and kindness that extended to all she met.
“Her physical absence is still surreal, it seems that her laugh will fill the hallways of work again,” she said. “We all keep waiting for her to yell our names from the nurses station or give us another dreaded admit. The emotions come in waves, but we also want her to be proud of us.”