Reported missing while gold panning, Oregon man, 81, found deceased at bottom of 300′ embankment

UPDATE: Saturday, June 4, 9:36 a.m.

Originally Published: Monday, June 1, 2:34 p.m.

SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif., — Authorities were saddened today to announce that the search for a missing elderly Oregon man ended in tragedy when the 81-year-old victim and his missing quad were found at the bottom of a 300-foot embankment in Siskiyou County Wednesday afternoon, June 1.

The victim, Zed Edison III, of Medford, Oregon, had last been seen on Monday afternoon, May 30, and was reported missing when he failed to return home after a planned solo gold panning expedition.


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The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office began a missing person investigation after Edison went missing while gold panning and was last seen around 2:30 p.m., according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office. He was last observed on USFS Road 1050, in the area of Applegate River and Elliott Creek, just south of Applegate Lake along the border of California and Oregon.

The missing man was reported to have left a residence on a black and green 2003 Artic Cat ATV to go gold panning and did not return home. He was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and blue jeans according to SCSO officials, who also reported that Edison suffered from high blood pressure and COPD.

As the multi-agency search for Edison continued on Wednesday, at around 3 p.m. members of the Siskiyou County Search and Rescue (SAR) team, Jackson County Search and Rescue and the California Highway Patrol located Edison’s ATV at the bottom of a 300-foot embankment off USFS Road 1050.

“The SAR team quickly descended down the cliff in an effort to rescue Edison,” SCSO wrote in a social media update. “Unfortunately, he had succumbed to his injuries and was found deceased.”

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Edison’s family has since been notified of his passing according to SCSO officials, who said no further information was available to be released at this time.

Contact the writer: [email protected]

Trevor Montgomery, 51, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and operates Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS). Both are stringer organizations, providing breaking news coverage and community interest stories for other mainstream media organizations throughout the two regions they serve.

Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.