Search for missing Portland man enters seventh day

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

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The search for a Portland man who went missing while hiking in Skamania County enters its seventh day today.

Air resources are expected to be used today during a search of the Big Lava Beds area, about 10 miles north of Cook, in an effort to find Kristopher Zitzewitz, 31, who went missing in the area after getting separated from his partner Saturday afternoon.

A search Thursday, which included ground searchers and a helicopter from King County Sheriff’s Office, did not locate Zitzewitz.

However, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office Undersheriff Dave Cox said the air resources would be deployed this morning to perform an “extensive low level aerial search.”

If searchers don’t find Zitzewitz today, Cox said there would be one more major search Saturday morning, where the agency will request resources from Washington Department of Emergency Management.

The agency is also in charge of searching for Alejandra Wilson, 23, who was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail but was overdue in contacting her father.

“An extensive aerial search of the PCT within Skamania County today by the IS Coast Guard Air Station Astoria provided no evidence that Ms. Wilson is still in Skamania County at this time,” Cox said in a release.