Search and rescue teams and law enforcement officials have set up a command center in the small town of Riddle, Oregon (map) in an effort to find Portland resident Mark Bosworth. Bosworth, a 54 year old father of two who works at Metro as a GIS analyst, has been missing since around 11:00 pm on Friday night when he vanished from the Cycle Oregon campsite near Riddle High School.
According to Cycle Oregon Ride Director Jerry Norquist, Bosworth was on the ride as a volunteer, which is something he’d done for the past four years.
When I spoke to Norquist this morning, he said 65 people have amassed in Riddle to aid the Douglas County Sheriff’s search and rescue efforts. Norquist says Bosworth’s family is also on the scene. “We’re putting on the full court press to find him,” Norquist said.
“Mark is part of our family… We’re devastated… It’s just surreal.”
— Jerry Norquist, Cycle Oregon
“Mark is part of our family,” said Norquist, “We’re devastated… It’s just surreal… Nothing like this has ever happened on Cycle Oregon before.”
Glen Bolen was the last person to see Bosworth. Bolen, who has been friends with Bosworth since 1993, told me this morning that he and Bosworth were chatting near their tents just before 11:00 pm Friday night when the two parted ways. “It’s just really strange.”
While both Bolen and Norquist say the situation is completely out of character for Bosworth, they both acknowledge that he was not acting like himself prior to Friday night. Norquist said they were aware he was “having a hard week” and that they hadn’t been seeing “the usual Mark.” “It was concerning to us,” said Norquist, so much so that he asked Bosworth at one point if he’d like a ride back to the event’s starting point in Sutherlin. Bosworth declined the offer, insisting that he was fine.
Bolen said he first became concerned about Bosworth Friday afternoon when he and Bosworth were enjoying a beer and pizza at the Cycle Oregon beer garden. Bolen says after ordering, Bosworth got up to use the restroom and never came back. “I didn’t see him again until 9:30 or so. I told him I was worried about him, but he said he just got sidetracked talking with someone,” recalled Bolen. Later that night, he and Bosworth were chatting near their tents before he split up with Bosworth again around 11:00 pm, which was the last time he saw his friend.
Bolen recalls that he was also concerned because Bosworth, a cancer survivor, had complained about headaches earlier in the day and another friend of theirs said Bosworth had said he was “really tired” and had dozed off while sitting in a chair. Bolen also recalled that Bosworth had had several drinks that night.
Both Norquist and Bolen say something about Bosworth’s demeanor and behavior the last few days wasn’t normal and they were both concerned about him.
After they parted ways for the last time Friday night, Bolen said there was loud partying at a bar on Riddle’s Main Street, which was in the direction of Bosworth’s campsite. “He’s a very social person,” Bolen said this morning, trying to make sense of what might have happened, “He’s the kind of person who if he heard music playing he would have walked over to it.”
The Cycle Oregon campsite in Riddle was located adjacent to a river, which Bolen said was calm. The weather Friday night was cold, with temperatures going down to the mid 40s. Bosworth has his wallet and his phone, but he has not responded to phone calls.
Bosworth is known by many people in our community. He is a regular at bike-related events and he is part of the team that develops Metro’s popular Bike There! map.
Norquist says authorities are following every lead they can. “We’re hoping they have some good luck today.”
If you have any information about Bosworth’s whereabouts, please call the Douglas County sheriff’s office at (541) 440-4471.