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News / Clark County News

Searchers find body of missing Vancouver elk hunter

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian Health Reporter
Published: November 25, 2017, 10:46am

A search team on Friday found the body of a Vancouver elk hunter who went missing earlier this month.

A team with Silver Star Search and Rescue notified the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office on Friday afternoon that they had located items related to the search for 37-year-old Joel Presler, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area on Forest Road 6035 in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest where Presler’s vehicle was found on Nov. 15. Presler’s body was discovered after a short search of the area near where the items were found Friday, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Clark County Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy. Nothing at the scene lead deputies to believe there was anything suspicious regarding his death.

Presler was hunting in the Forlorn Lakes area and last spoke to his family on Nov. 11. Snow near Presler’s Ford pickup was about 3 feet deep at the time.

Search teams spent several days looking for Presler by foot, snowmobile and air before suspending the search Nov. 18.

Warmer temperatures late this week melted much of the snow in the area and gave searchers a reason to return to the area for a training mission, according to the Sheriff’s Office. During that training, searchers found the items and, subsequently, Presler’s body near where his vehicle was parked, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation is continuing in order to understand what led to Presler’s death, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Columbian Health Reporter