Law enforcement officials have not yet closed the case of Ryan Ross Horn, the 28-year-old Hillsboro man who went missing in late August and whose body was found near Buxton in rural Washington County last Tuesday. Horn was found dead in the woods last week, leaving family, friends and community members mourning their loss.

Hillsboro Police Department spokesman Mike Rouches said Monday that although they’re treating the death as a suicide, detectives continue to work with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to rule out foul play.

Horn’s red Ford Ranger truck was discovered the morning of Oct. 8 by a passerby, Buxton resident Blu Garrymore, who had been searching for his missing dog in some brush off Highway 47. Horn’s truck had been broken into and its stereo stolen. Authorities are trying to make sure there was no connection between that crime and Horn’s death.

“We want to tie up all the loose ends,” Rouches said.

Horn’s badly decomposed body was partially submerged in a creek about 60 yards from the truck, he said.

Horn, a Genentech Inc. employee, drove away from his mother’s Hillsboro home Aug. 29 and — according to a “ping” off his cell phone — headed toward the Tillamook Forest. He was reportedly despondent and carried a handgun.

Dr. Clifford Nelson of the state medical examiner’s office in Clackamas completed an autopsy on Horn’s body late last week, but an official cause of death has not yet been released. Rouches did not know whether Nelson had ordered toxicology tests on the body.

“Based on interviews with the family, we’re treating this as a suicide,” Rouches said. “We’re operating on that theory.”

Garrymore, who went to school in Vernonia, told the Hillsboro Tribune he snapped a photo of the truck and drove to the nearby Time Gas Station, where he looked at a flier about Horn’s disappearance.

“It was the same truck,” said Garrymore, who did as the flyer instructed and called 911. Garrymore was aware that Horn had been missing.

He said that although his discovery was accidental, “it feels good” to have had a part in solving the mystery of Horn’s disappearance.

“It brings closure to the situation for the family,” he said.

Meanwhile, Horn’s parents and siblings are reeling from the finality of their son and brother’s death. They have opened his memorial service to the community and posted tributes on a Facebook page called “Missing Person Ryan Horn” that drew several thousand followers in the past six weeks.

In a heartfelt tribute, his father, Brent Horn of Hillsboro, wrote online of Ryan’s struggles with bipolar disorder.

“Hey bud, I miss you, son. Your great-grandma Valera spoke of the ‘family curse,’ which we now know was mental illness, as real as any physical illness anyone ever battles and one we all learned about through painful personal experience. May the Mother Earth and Father Heaven hold you in their arms and succor you and rid you of the grip of fear and torment that would not let you alone.”

Horn’s mother, Michele Haynes, also expressed her feelings about her son’s death.

“I miss my little boy, my handsome all-grown son,” she wrote. “Part of me will spend the rest of my life listening for the sound of you coming in the door.”

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