Northwest News

78-year-old mushroom hunter goes missing in Washington. He’s the second in two weeks

Authorities in a Washington county are searching for a second lost mushroom hunter in two weeks, KOIN reports.

Richard Sugai, 78, was “last seen entering the woods” on a U.S. Forest Service road on Saturday near Carson in Skamania County on a mushroom-picking trip with his family, KATU reported.

“When he didn’t return, his family began searching for him” and then notified authorities, according to the site. Sugai was dressed for rain but wore dark clothing.

Searchers have continued looking for Sugai, who “requires daily medication,” through Tuesday morning, KOIN reports.

On Wednesday, the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office suspended the search until Saturday after searching the GIfford Pinchot National Forest with drones, The Columbian reported.

Sugai is from Beaverton, Oregon, according to the publication.

Last week, rescuers found Jung C. VanAtta, 75, of Vancouver, Washington, McClatchy news group previously reported. VanAtta had gone missing Oct. 12 while on a mushroom-picking expedition with a friend.

Searchers found her on Oct. 15 after discovering a discarded bag of freshly picked mushrooms the day before, according to the publication.

Daughter Sue Wong said VanAtta had tumbled 300 feet down a cliff and was unable to climb out, KOMO reported. She said her mother’s recovering well despite some minor injuries.

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Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for more than 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter based at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.
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