Body of Seattle deputy fire chief found after 60 groups, agencies searched for 12 days

There was no preliminary evidence of suspicious activity or foul play in the death of Jay Schreckengost, who had gone out to look for elk, officials said


Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — The body of a missing Seattle deputy fire chief was found Sunday near Cliffdell after a 12-day search in rugged terrain, the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office and Seattle Fire Department said.

Jay Schreckengost, 56, was last heard from Nov. 2, when he texted family that he was heading out looking for elk. He never checked in that night, triggering a search first by family members and Yakima County sheriff's Search and Rescue volunteers.

Schreckengost's truck was soon found on a U.S. Forest Service Road about 3 miles northeast of the Whistlin' Jack Lodge in Kittitas County.

He was found about a half mile from the spot where his pickup was parked on the day he went missing, the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. There was no preliminary evidence of suspicious activity or foul play, the news release said.

The search involved 60 different agencies and organizations and thousands of hours from professional and trained volunteer searchers. Searchers used ground teams, ATV riders, military helicopters, drones and search dogs.

"We're saddened to give news of Chief Schreckengost's passing to his family and fellow firefighters, and we ask the public and press to respect their privacy as they grieve his loss," Sheriff Clay Myers said. "We also want to thank everyone who participated in or supported this search. It was a tremendous outpouring of resources and effort that produced a vital result: a family knows what happened to their loved one and he can be brought home to them."

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(c)2021 Yakima Herald-Republic

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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