Search continues for USS Nimitz sailor missing in Olympic National Forest

OLYMPIC NATIONAL FOREST — Teams of hopeful searchers continued to probe the Buckhorn Wilderness south of Sequim on Thursday for missing hiker Jeremiah Adams, a Clallam County sheriff’s spokesman said.

Adams, a 24-year-old Navy sailor, was last seen when he left for a hike in Olympic National Forest on May 4. His car was found at the Lower Gray Wolf trailhead Monday night.

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office has been leading a daily search involving multiple county agencies, the U.S. Navy and 50 to 100 personnel.

Crews have expanded the search in recent days to arterial trails off the Gray Wolf River.

“We’re feeling confident that were eliminating a lot,” said Brian King, Clallam County’s chief sheriff’s deputy.

“It’s steep, rugged terrain out there, especially when you get off those established trails. There’s places where its impassable by humans.”

Swift water rescue teams have searched up and down the Gray Wolf River from where Adams’ 2013 Ford Fiesta was found. The water level and turbidity has remained high because of snowmelt, King said.

“There are many significant, large log jams that you can’t really eliminate with the amount of water in the area,” King said.

“We think it’s also a low probability that he would have attempted to cross the river due to the (water) volume.”

Adams, a Chicago-area native who is stationed on the USS Nimitz, is described as an experienced hiker who often ventures into the Olympic Mountains, King said.

Scores of Navy sailors have participated in the search.

“They’re still optimistic,” King said. “They’re remaining positive, but that lessens and kind of dwindles every day.

“They’ve been with us from the start until now,” King added. “They know the effort that’s been put into this search, and they know what’s been covered.”

Members of Adams’ family have joined the rescue effort, the Chicago Tribune reported.

King likened the search for Adams to the search for 22-year-old Jacob Gray in April 2017.

Gray has been missing since April 5, 2017. His bike and camping gear were found the next day along the side of Sol Duc Hot Springs Road.

The search for Adams has involved search and rescue teams from Clallam, Kitsap and Mason counties.

An attempt to insert an Olympic Mountain Rescue team by helicopter to the Slide Camp area near the Olympic National Forest-Olympic National Park boundary was scratched Thursday because of low clouds and fog, King said.

The mountain rescue team will attempt to search the same area today.

“It’s a low-probability area that we don’t believe he would have gone into, but we feel confident we’ve checked everything else that we can,” King said.


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula