These are my notes from the search after meeting Mr. and Mrs. Engebretson and retracing the steps of what happened that day at Pelican Butte.
What it means:
Red= Derrick's tracks
Yellow= Father's tracks
Blue= Grandfather's tracks
White x= Snow angel
Green square= Last sighting of Derrick
White square - Derricks father and Grandfather find eachother and relize Derrick is missing
Black circle= Pull-off parking
Red X - Hole in ice measuring 3ft in diameter, in about 3-8 ft of water, 5ft from shore
Derricks grandfather, an expert tracker, was able to track Derrick to the road where the snow angel was made. The Klamath Falls Police Department plowed the road and all tracks were lost...
The tracks in red 2 1/2 miles down the road are not proven to be Derricks. They were tracks equal to the size and shape of Derricks that day. The track lead into a small inlet show on the drawing. Witnesses said their were only one set of tracks leading to the inlet, nothing coming out.
After we put this together the only logical location to search was the inlet. That brings me to the next article.
Searchers Seek Link To Missing Boy In The Bottom Of An Inlet
October 21, 2002
Searchers seek link to missing boy in the bottom of an inlet
KLAMATH FALLS (AP) — It has been four years since 8-year-old Derrick Engebretson disappeared while hunting for Christmas trees with his father the on slopes of Pelican Butte.
Hundreds of people joined in the original, desperate search after Derrick's disappearance on Dec. 8, 1998. They never found so much as a shred of clothing.
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, believes 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.
According to Klamath County Sheriff's Office Detective John Dougherty, the hole in the ice was discovered at the time of the initial search.
"The hole in the ice was discovered by Ben Davis, the missing boy's grandfather," Dougherty said last week. "Divers were put in the next day. An additional search was done in the area during the spring thaw."
If it was Derrick that fell through the hole, one clue that would remain after four years would be the hatchet.
If a hatchet were found in the sediment of the inlet, it could indicate that the boy died there.
On Saturday, Portland diver Jeff Preece spent several hours carefully working his way through the shallow water and the deep muck.
Using a metal detector designed to work underwater, Preece found several metal objects, including an oil filter and a metal road sign.
But no hatchet.
Lori Engebretson, the boy's mother, said she appreciated the effort by Preece and Crabtree, who also conducted a search of the area a week earlier.
"Any effort to find my son, I feel 100 percent wonderful about," she said.
In the initial search, hundreds of people, dog teams and an Air Force helicopter equipped with an infrared scanner combed the snowy woods on the flanks of Pelican Butte outside Rocky Point, but turned up little more than a child's bookmark that no one could be sure was Derrick's.
After the search was called off, Lori and her husband Robert Engebretson of Bonanza continued looking on their own for the son they nicknamed "Bear Boy."
Copyright 2002 - Southwestern Oregon Publishing Company - Coos Bay, OR