COMMUNITY, Forest Grove, Police

Body of man missing in Forest Grove found in waters of Gales Creek

Toufik “Tom” Tanous. Photo courtesy of WCSO

The body of a man who walked away from a memory care facility in Forest Grove three days ago was found just outside of city limits in the waters of Gales Creek on Thursday shortly before 3 p.m.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, searchers found the body of Toufik “Tom” Tanous in the waters of Gales Creek near Highway 47, a location about one mile southwest of where he was last seen near Hawthorne Street and 19th Avenue. 

Tanous was 79. 

The cause of his death is being investigated by the Washington County Medical Examiner, a program of the Washington County Department of Health and Human Services. 

“At this time,” a press release from the sheriff’s office read, “there does not appear to be any foul play involved in Mr. Tanous’ death.”

The Washington County Search and Rescue team thanked a number of agencies who assisted in the search, including Search and Rescue teams from the counties of Clackamas, Multnomah, Yamhill, Tillamook and Hood River, Mountain Waver Emergency Communications, Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, the Forest Grove Police Department, who were originally dispatched to the last known location of Tanous on Tuesday, April 27, and the Oregon State Police. 

The sheriff’s office expressed their thanks to “the community members and businesses who donated supplies to the searchers over the past few days,” in a statement that was echoed by the Forest Grove Police Department in a separate press release. 

Over the three days Tanous was missing, authorities urged residents to search their outbuildings and garages for Tanous, a memory care patient who was described as suffering the effects of dementia. 

According to a Washington County Sheriff’s Office press release, Tanous was believed to have walked away from Hawthorne House Care Facility where he lived, located at 2635 21st Ave in Forest Grove, between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night. A search initiated at 9 a.m. lasted until 4 a.m. and resumed four hours later. By Thursday morning, searchers had covered a ½ mile radius surrounding the care facility and were expanding their search further. 

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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