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Missing woman found alive on Mount Hood

by: Courtesy of HRSO PAMELA SALANT

A missing Portland woman who became separated from her boyfriend while hiking near Mount Hood was found alive Tuesday afternoon.

Crew members in an Oregon Army Guard helicopter crew spotted Pamela Salant, 28, at about 3 p.m. sitting on a rock in Lindsey Creek, about 1.5 miles north of Bear Lake. She began waving when the helicopter crew spotted her.

Because the helicopter was not equipped to hoisting her, it returned to Salem, where it was swapped for a UH-60 Blackhawk chopper. Rescuers returned to the Mount Hood wilderness and hoisted Salant into the helicopter to take her to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.

Salant is listed in serious condition. Additional medical evaluation is being conducted.

Salant had been missing since Saturday, and search teams from multiple agencies scoured the forested area over the course of three days.

Her boyfriend, Aric Essig, said he and his girlfriend planned to camp overnight at Bear Lake, but separated after dropping their gear at the campsite around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Essig said it was supposed to be only a brief separation and he expected to meet Salant back at camp, but she never returned.

Essig started looking all over for his girlfriend, then called the Hood River County Sheriff's Office on Sunday morning.

More than two dozen people from the sheriff's offices, the Crag Rats, Search I K-9, the U.S. Forest Service and Oregon Army National Guard searched the lake area until midnight Sunday. A helicopter, airplane and three canine teams were activated during Sunday's search.

Fox 12 contributed to this news report.