- Posted March 4, 2011 by
Klamath Falls/Rocky Point, Oregon
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Nancy Grace: America's Missing
My 8-year-old brother missing now for over 12 years now
Derrick James Engebretson
Missing since December 5, 1998 from Bonanza, Klamath County, Oregon
Classification: Lost, Injured, Missing Vital Statistics
Date Of Birth: July 5, 1990
Age at Time of Disappearance: 8 years old Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 4'6" (137 cm); 85 lbs (39 kg)
Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Brown hair with a cowlick; hazel eyes.
Marks, Scars: Dog bite scars on his chin, between his nostrils and under his nose.
Clothing: Blue snowmobile suit, denim jacket size 12-14,Rt 66 pants in navy blue, Oakland A's sweatshirt, and a black sweatshirt, a hat, felt-lined boots, and gloves with a Goosebumps logo. He was carrying a small hatchet.
AKA: Bear Boy
Circumstances of Disappearance
Engebretson became separated from his father and grandfather while they were looking for a Christmas tree in the Rocky Point area of the Winema National Forest in Klamath County, Oregon on December 5, 1998.
The three were walking together most of the time that day and were never very far from the paved road. But, at one point, Robert walked ahead of Derrick and his grandfather.
A little later, Derrick wanted to catch up with his father, just up the snowy hill and out of sight. The grandfather told Derrick to follow his father's footsteps in the snow. The boy has been unreported since.
Extensive air and ground searches yielded few clues as to Engebretson's whereabouts. A blizzard hit the area the evening Derrick was reported missing which destroyed any tracks that may have been left.
Klamath County Sheriff's Office
NCMEC #: NCMC857924
Oregon boy still missing after 10 years
12/8/2008, 12:02 a.m. PST
The Associated Press
BONANZA, Ore. (AP) -- A tree decorated with teddy bears and ornaments remains near the spot where the family pickup was parked the day 8-year-old Derrick Engebretson disappeared in December 1998.
The boy was last seen by his grandfather, who sent Derrick up a hill with a hatchet to help his father cut down a Christmas tree on the flanks of Pelican Butte on the Winema National Forest.
Ten years have passed, but Lori and Robert Engebretson of Bonanza continue to hope that Derrick somehow made it off Pelican Butte alive. The couple still searches on occasion, but the steep, rugged terrain near the northern end of Upper Klamath Lake has become an impediment.
"I am not as young as I used to be," Lori Engebretson said.
Derrick's disappearance led to a massive search with dogs, snowmobiles and hundreds of volunteers. The boy was never found and was presumed to have frozen to death in a snowstorm.
That theory came into question when an inmate claimed that Frank J. Milligan had bragged about abducting and killing the boy, sources close to the case told The Oregonian in 2004.
When confronted, Milligan, who had been sentenced to 36 years in prison for raping and assaulting a 10-year-old boy in Dallas, Ore., confessed to killing Derrick and agreed to lead detectives to the place where he claimed to have buried the boy's body. But nothing was found, and Milligan later recanted the confession, according to police and Engebretson's family.
Lori Engebretson says Milligan continues to be a suspect.
Detective Jeff Lord of the Klamath County Sheriff's Office declined to comment when asked if he has singled out Milligan as a suspect. Lord has hiked the terrain surrounding Pelican Butte several times. He says the area has become more difficult to search as the brush has thickened.
The detective, who keeps a picture of Derrick near his desk, said the case remains open. "We won't give up," Lord said. "You don't give up on these cases."
Amy- my brother went missing over 12 years ago and I still feel like it was the same day it happened. A night mare I cant wake up from.. I just want closure...for me and my family