Diver searches for missing boy’s hatchet
Staff, news services
October 21, 2002
KLAMATH FALLS — It has been four years since 8-year-old Derrick Engebretson disappeared Dec. 8, 1998, while looking for Christmas trees with his father on the slopes of Pelican Butte.
On Saturday, volunteers brought a new approach to the search by using a metal detector to look for a hatchet Derrick was carrying when he was last seen.
Billy Crabtree, founder and director of a private search organization called REACT of Oregon, thinks that the key to Derrick’s fate might be found in a shallow inlet near Malone Springs Road.
Four years ago, there was a hole in the ice and a child’s footprint on the bank.
Klamath County Sheriff’s Office Detective John Dougherty said the hole in the ice was discovered at the time of the initial search. If it was Derrick who fell through the hole, one clue would be the hatchet.
On Saturday, Portland diver Jeff Preece spent hours working through water and muck.
Using a metal detector designed to work underwater, Preece found several metal objects — but no hatchet.
Copyright 2002 Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon