Suicides and Suicide calls


Location where subject jumped

Location where subject jumped to his death

SAR Dog Willow alerting in water


SAR Dog Willow tracking north

SAR Dogs Willow and Elly

Tyler alerting over cliff

Suicides and Suicide calls.

Many law enforcement and SAR agencies either donít wish to be bothered or just go out to the scene and perform a quick search and then call it ĒgoodĒ:

 When a loved one has left a note or a message that he/she is going to commit suicide, please donít take their statement lightly.

 The youngest person I found dead, was a young 11 yo child who was mad at his father for not allowing him (the child) to go to football camp. He walked up into the hills and sat down watched the sunset, then took his 22 cal rifle and shot himself dead. 

Searchers. Remember when a person is intent on committing suicide, they usually travel up high on a hillside, mountainside to be, ďCloser to GodĒ. Or down low to a nearby water source, lake, river, creek to, ďCleanse them selves before deathĒ.  

Iíve found several men and women, who have just walked right into the water and drowned themselves. Iíve also found several men who walked into the woods, sat next to a large tree, watched the sun rise or set and blew their brains out.  

Others who have hung themselves. Some who have jumped to their deaths over bridges, off buildings, over cliffs. 

So, if youíre a searcher, look at a Topo map of the area. Go to the PLS (Point last seen) and get a scent article of the missing person. Track their scent with a search dog. Search their home and surrounding garages, sheds, RVís first. There are times Iíve found the victim dead on the property. 

If the scent trail leads to a water source, then conduct a water search and locate their remains. If it heads deep into the wilderness, conduct a track / trail with a search dog and try to find their remains.  

Some people are just begging for help and have no intention of killing themselves.

When / if you find them, approach with caution. Especially if they might be armed.

Get training before the next call on suicide prevention and consultation. Iíve talked four people over the years into not killing themselves.

Families. If you have a family member missing, call the police. If they refuse to go look, then take on that responsibility yourself. Gather friends and family and maps of the area. Figure out areas of highest probability. Parks, views, and other areas the person enjoyed visiting in the past. Churches, cemeteries, rivers, boat ramps.  

Ask the police to PING the victimís cellular telephone. This will give you an area to start searching in. 

If the victim drove a vehicle and your volunteer searchers find his / her vehicle. 


Freeze the scene. Call 911 and let the police determine if the victim drove it there or if this is a murder made to look like a suicide. If you find the victim dead, donít touch them. Back off, call 911.  

The father reported that his son had disappeared on 02-02-2011. No note was found. The subject had a good job, steady girlfriend and was secure financially.  

The sonís vehicle was found at a state park parking lot. The local sheriff and park rangers had conducted a ground search with search dogs and found nothing.  

Upon our arrival, in 1 hour, we were able to track the subjectís scent trail across a bridge, down a trail to a 186-foot lookout area where our 3 search dogs indicated the subject fell to his death. We then conducted a water search by boat and all search dogs indicated his remains in a specific area below the jump site. 

There have been many times when Iíve been able to talk the friends, search teams, and the subjectís family through their search efforts to bring closure.  

If for some reason the police refuse to respond to a missing persons call or suicide report, call us, we can help.  503-705-0258.


Location where scuffed foot print was located

Tyler being introduced to subjects scent

Harry comforting Elly


2013-7862-359(A). 08-29-2013 Missing person Oly, Wa.
Request came in from Mrs. Susan Nielson (Mother) Crest Ridge Dr. Oly 
Re Her 41 yo son Missing: Mr.Jan Benedict Nielson Subject left on foot going to walk from home to Tenino Washington

On 08-29-2013 1640 hrs I.K.9.S.A.R.S. team of Harry Oakes with his two search dogs Willow And Tyler sadly located the remains of jan Benedict Nielson. His remains were located by my search dogs 100 yards in the brush off hwy 99 Se near 92 nd court Lewis co sheriffs dept responded To assist in the investigation

Harry Oakes Search and Rescue (SAR) Coordinator.