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Family increases reward for missing man

Robert Bucknell has been missing almost nine months

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Robert Bucknell’s family has increased their reward from $3,000 to $10,000 for information leading to the conviction of the parties responsible for his disappearance.

An investigation for missing person Robert Bucknell has yielded more questions than answers for the family and law enforcement since he was last seen on March 20, 2012.
   An ongoing active investigation has been pressing forward by the Crook County Sheriff’s office and the Oregon State Police. The family of the man was previously offering $3,000 for information leading to the conviction of the parties who are responsible for his disappearance. That reward has recently been increased to $10,000.
   On April 12, 2012, Bucknell’s tan, 1989 Jeep Cherokee was discovered on private property near the entrance of the Prineville Adventure Park, north of Prineville Reservoir. The location is approximately one half mile from Bucknell’s home. He has been missing since March 20, 2012. The Crook County Sheriff's Office initially impounded the vehicle for further investigation.
   Early in the investigation, the Crook County Search and Rescue dog team searched the area and were not able to locate Mr. Bucknell. Local property owners were cooperative in allowing search teams onto private property to search for clues that might lead them to his location.
   Although the case began as a missing person case, it is currently being treated as a criminal investigation.
   “We are taking it more as a criminal case than a missing person case,” said Crook County Undersheriff John Gautney.
   He said that the reason they are investigating it as a criminal investigation is because the Sheriff’s Office has reason to believe that Bucknell disappeared under criminal circumstances.
   “The family has decided to increase the award amount,” Gautney added.
   Gautney said that it is still an active investigation, and they have several members of their staff, as well as Oregon State Police involved in the case.
   Anyone who has information in the case is asked to contact the Crook County Sheriff’s Office.
   The Crook County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 541-447-6398.