UPDATE • Cycle Oregon sends a bus with volunteers to help search
A bus with volunteers from Cycle Oregon drove to Southern Oregon Tuesday morning to help search for Mark L. Bosworth, the Metro employee who disappeared late Friday night while working with riders during the weeklong bicycle tour.
As the search continues, Portland's Metro staff is hoping their friend and fellow employee will be found somewhere near the small town of Riddle.
Bosworth, 54, is a principle graphic information system specialist in Metro's Data Resource Center. He was a rider services volunteer for Cycle Oregon, the state bicycle tour that wheeled around several Southern Oregon towns Sept. 10 to 17. Bosworth was last seen about 11:15 p.m. Sept. 16 near Riddle City Hall wearing a gray hoodie sweatshirt, black bicycle pants, shoes and a hat.
Riddle is a small town along Interstate 5 about 15 miles south of Roseburg in Douglas County.
Cycle Oregon participants said Bosworth's tent was empty Saturday morning. More than two dozen firefighters, a dozen search-and-rescue volunteers and a K-9 tracking team searched the area, including a two-mile section of Cow Creek north of Canyonville. No sign of Bosworth was found by Monday.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Office does not suspect foul play.
The sheriff's office said Monday that it is checking out reports of a hitchhiker seen early Saturday morning on Yocum Road in Riddle. Deputies also are trying to confirm reports that Bosworth may have suffered from some sort of medical issue and could be confused about where he was.
Bosworth's wife and daughter went to the small town during the weekend to help with the search. Another daughter stayed in the family's Portland home in case Bosworth called.
Bosworth is 6 feet tall, weighing 180 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information about Bosworth's whereabouts should call the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, 541-440-4471.
Bosworth is a cancer survivor whose co-workers say he was an inspiration.
'The thing that most people think of with Mark, when you think of the past few years is how courageous he was with bouts of cancer,' said Paul Couey, Metro's GIS manager. 'He showed a lot of optimism through that, when a lot of us were feeling pretty dark.'
Couey said Bosworth's co-workers were trying to stay positive as the search continues.
'At this stage, I think it's a lot less dire than that (cancer) was, and I'm trying to encourage people to follow the example he set and remain as hopeful as he can,' Couey said.
At Metro, Bosworth provides analysis and mapping for planning and transportation clients. He has also been an adjunct professor at Portland State University.
Some GIS analysts, Couey said, 'want to study a map of where he is and figure something out, but feel helpless this far away. Still, there's certainly reason for optimism.'