COMMUNITY, Cornelius, Washington County

Search continues for Ralph Brown, missing from Cornelius since Sunday

Ralph Brown. Photo courtesy WCSO

Ralph Brown was last seen leaving his Cornelius home on Sunday, May 16 in a 2014 Blue Nissan Sentra. 

Brown, 76, hasn’t been seen since, launching a search that has spanned at least two counties as deputies seek Brown, who, according to his family, has memory issues and could struggle to 

Brown has held many roles in western Washington County over the years, working as an educator, serving as a Forest Grove School Board director, on the Cornelius City Council, and as mayor of that town. He was last elected as mayor of Cornelius in 2000, according to Washington County elections archives.

The Forest Grove News Times profiled his service to the community in February 2021.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office first learned that Brown was missing around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. He was last seen leaving his home near the 600 block of S. 12th Avenue in Cornelius in his 2014 Blue Nissan Sentra, with Oregon license plate number 319KQV.

A flier created by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office

Brown is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 210 pounds, with grey hair and blue eyes. He is missing the tip of his right-hand index finger. 

Brown’s family said that he may struggle to find his way home. 

A person told the Washington County Sheriff’s Office that they saw Brown in his vehicle near Newberg on Monday, May 17, but he was not located. “Mr. Brown could be anywhere at this point,” the sheriff’s office said in a press release. 

“Detectives are requesting that anyone who lives along the Willamette River or near Rogers Landing County Park in Newberg to check around for Mr. Brown and his car,” the agency said.

Local law enforcement agencies, including the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, were notified to be on the lookout for Brown. 

In a Friday, May 21 email to this newspaper, a spokesperson for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said that there were no additional updates available on Brown’s whereabouts. 

Anyone with information on Brown’s location is asked to call non-emergency dispatch at (503) 629-0111.

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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