Yesterday, at about 5:00 p.m. the body of Kerry Albert Letsch was located in the Santiam River, approximately one mile downriver from the Santiam Rest Area. Letsch had been missing since July 13th and had been suffering from dementia and depression. His vehicle was discovered abandoned at the Santiam Rest Area on Interstate 5 on July 20th.
The discovery of Letsch’s vehicle prompted a search of the rest area and adjacent properties by the Oregon State Police and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. The search included approximately 9.5 river miles from the City of Jefferson to the Willamette River.
Letsch was located yesterday evening by rafters using the river for recreation. The Oregon State Police, the Jefferson Fire District, and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office all assisted in the recovery.
A post examination of Letsch will be conducted in the near future, but foul play is not suspected at this time.