The body of a San Francisco man who had walked into the Oregon wilderness to find help for his stranded family was found Wednesday. James Kim, 35, walked into the snowy Oregon mountains Saturday leaving his wife and two young daughters in the family car. They were rescued by searchers on Monday, but he never returned to their car.
The Kims had been missing since November 25, when they left Portland and headed home to San Francisco, California, after a holiday trip to the Pacific Northwest. Kati Kim the wife told officers they were traveling south from Portland on Interstate 5 and missed the turnoff to a state highway, Oregon 42, that leads through the Coast Range to Gold Beach where they planned to stay at a resort.
The 2005-2007 state highway map distributed by the Oregon Department of Transportation has a warning in red print, inside a red box: "This route closed in winter." The area's complicated road network is commonly used by whitewater rafters on the Rogue River or as a shortcut to the coast in the summer, but it is not plowed in the winter. After leaving Portland on Interstate 5, search leaders said, the couple missed a turnoff that leads to the coast and took a wrong turn on a twisty mountain road they chose as an alternative. Authorities have said the couple fed their daughters baby food and crackers and used snow as water as they waited for help.
Kati breast-feeding the younger child, breast-fed both the children after their food ran out. The adults also ate berries. They used their car heater until they ran out of gas then burned tires to stay warm and attract attention. Kim walked into the snowy Oregon mountains Saturday to find help for his wife, Kati, and two daughters, Penelope, 4, and Sabine, 7 months.
On Monday Kati Kim and her daughters were rescued at their car when a helicopter of searchers hired by the Kim family saw her waving an umbrella.