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December 11, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Search suspended for Japanese hiker on Mount St. Helens

LONGVIEW — Sheriff’s officers in two southwest Washington counties have suspended search efforts for a 26-year-old Japanese hiker last seen near Mount St. Helens.

Cowlitz County Undersheriff Marc Gilchrist said Wednesday that aerial and ground searches and investigations by Cowlitz and Skamania county officers have found no trace of Yosuke Onishi. Hikers in the area have not reported seeing him.

Gilchrist says the man’s mother and sister flew to Portland late last week from Japan and drove with an interpreter to Cougar,  Cowlitz County, where they talked to deputies.

Onishi is from Saga Prefecture on the island of Kyushu.

Gilchrist says deputies would still like to locate a couple who gave Onishi a ride to where he was dropped off near the mountain. The owners of a Cougar deli say the couple drove a gray or light brown passenger car on the morning of Nov. 27. Onishi has not been seen since then.

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