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Search party planned today for Ronnie Eaton

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

February 10, 2007

There has been no movement on the bank account or credit cards of a Hood River man missing for the past two weeks — and his cell phone has not been turned on.

On Saturday, all interested community members are invited to join a massive ground search for 36-year-old Ronnie Eaton.

Mark Brennan, a family friend, is organizing the effort to scout the terrain along all of the county roadways, both paved and graveled. He said as many volunteers are needed as possible to take on the “huge” task that will continue next weekend if necessary.

“We have a county map and it’s a big chunk to search – but we’ll just keep nibbling away at it,” he said.

The search staging area will be the parking lot of the LDS Church at the junction of May and 18th streets (just west of Aquatic Center). Brennan said the main body of searchers will organize at 9:30 a.m. but late arrivals will also be welcome.

“We’ll just appreciate any help that we get,” he said.

Hood River Police Detective Andy Frasier said a nationwide alert has been put out for the 2005 blue Honda Accord driven by Ronnie Eaton. The license plate to that vehicle reads “856 BZF.”

Eaton was last seen at his place of employment on Jan. 25. Friends and family members contend that it is out of character for him to show up for work — or leave town without notifying anyone.

“There’s just been no movement on this case but Sheriff Joe Wampler has been flying low over recreation areas that Mr. Eaton liked to visit. His family has also been checking out the places along the coast that he liked to go,” said Frasier. “It is possible that he decided to get away from the stresses of life for awhile — but we also can’t rule out the possibility of foul play.”

Fliers with Eaton’s picture and physical description have been circulated throughout the Gorge. He stands 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. His eyes are blue and he has dark brown hair and a goatee.

The casual clothes that Eaton was wearing on the day that he vanished include jeans, a T-shirt, jacket and tennis shoes.

Frasier asks anyone with information about the case to call his direct line at 387-5251. Brennan can be reached for more information about the search via e-mail at mbrennanprepaidlegal@hotmail.com

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