UPDATE: Missing Castle Rock teen found



Elijah Velke

Search crews located a 16-year-old boy Friday evening; he had been missing for two days in the woods behind his Castle Rock home.

About 50 people combed 15 square miles of steep, rugged timberland, looking for Elijah “Eli” Velke after he didn’t return home Wednesday night. His parents surmised he was lost or injured in the woods behind their home in the 900 block of McKee Road, launching a search that included Pierce, Cowlitz and Clark county resources.

Velke was found around 6:15 p.m. Friday after a Cowlitz County reserve deputy who was searching the area on an all-terrain vehicle heard him yelling for help. Emergency personnel got him out of the woods at 8:45 p.m. He was examined by medics and transported to St. John Hospital because of exposure.

“We thank God that he was found and pray that he is healthy and well,” said Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson.