Douglas Co. Sheriff's Office

REEDSPORT, Ore. - On Friday, January, 22, 2021, at approximately 3:00 pm, a deputy was notified of a vehicle off of the side of the road near milepost 36 on Lower Smith River Road. The caller reported finding a dog near the vehicle and stated he had taken the dog with him. The vehicle did not appear to have been involved in a traffic crash and the vehicle doors were locked. The deputy conducted a DMV check on the vehicle and learned it was registered to a female in Winchester Bay (not Garrison). The deputy drove to the registered owner's residence and attempted to make contact, but did not receive a response.

On Sunday, January 24, 2021, at 4:25 pm, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office received a report of a missing person involving 70 year-old Margaret Lucretia Garrison of Reedsport. 

Deputies learned that Garrison left Lakeside on Thursday, January 21, 2021, at approximately 3:30 pm. She last spoke to an acquaintance by telephone at approximately 4:30 pm on that day. 

The caller provided a description of the vehicle and the license plate at which time the investigating deputy recognized it to be the one mentioned on the Friday, January 22, 2021, incident handled by the original deputy.

Deputies responded to the location on Smith River Road where the vehicle was still located. They searched the immediate area and were unable to locate anyone. It was later discovered the vehicle had been purchased by Garrison, but not been registered in her name at the time of initial report. At the time there were no indications the vehicle was associated with Garrison, nor had she been reported missing. 

Deputies contacted several area hospitals checking to see if Garrison had been admitted, which she had not.

Douglas County Search and Rescue was notified and a search plan was developed.

On, Monday, January 26, 2021, resources with Search and Rescue searched for Garrison; eventually locating items belonging to her. Search and Rescue deputies made arrangements for the Sheriff's Office Marine Division to launch a boat on Tuesday morning to conduct a search from the river. 

On Tuesday, January 26, 2021, search crews and marine deputies continued the search for Garrison. Two men in a drift boat, later reported they had located a deceased body in the middle of the river approximately one mile downstream from where Garrison's vehicle was located. Marine deputies identified the body to be that of Garrison and recovered her body from the river.

Garrison's death is under investigation by the Douglas County Medical Examiner's Office, although it is not considered suspicious at this time. Next of kin has been notified.

The Sheriff's Office was assisted by Douglas County Search and Rescue, Bureau of Land Management Law Enforcement and several members of the public.