Mushroom picker found alive and uninjured

Oliver Mercer, 58, of Lebanon, who was reported missing on Nov. 1 was found alive and uninjured on Nov. 3.

After talking with Mercer, searchers learned he got turned around after picking mushrooms all day on October 31, according to a news release from the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. He said he traveled more than two miles south down to the Green Peter Reservoir, from there, traveled over five miles along the water’s edge in hopes of getting back to Rocky Top Bridge.

Mercer said that although he was unable to start any fires; the evening temperatures never got too cold and he was able to make a bed out of fur boughs. At approximately 10 a.m. on Nov. 3 he flagged a fishing boat down and received a ride to the boat dock where he was reunited with his friends.

Linn County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue was assisted by Lane County Sheriff’s Office, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Army National Guard, REACH, US Forest Service, Oregon Department of Forestry, Polk County Sheriff’s Office ATV Team and the Civil Air Patrol. Over the three days of searching, more than 90 members consisting mostly of volunteers contributed over 750 man hours.

“Successful searches such as this could not be made possible without the collaborative and professional relationship shared by all the agencies involved,” Sheriff Bruce Riley said.