CNET editor James Kim and his family disappeared while heading out on vacation to the Pacific Northwest. Late last night, the news broke that his wife and daughters had been found and appear to be just fine. Unfortunately, Search teams found the deceased body of CNET editor James Kim in the southwest Oregon wilderness today, authorities said.
CNET senior editor James Kim ultimately succumbed to exposure with hypothermia after hiking more than 10 miles through treacherous Oregon wilderness "in an effort to seek help for his family," police said Thursday.
Kim's body was at the foot of the Big Windy Creek drainage, a half-mile from the Rogue River, where ground crews and helicopters had been searching for days.
Kim, 35, was found Wednesday lying on his back fully clothed in creek waters 1 to 2 feet deep about a mile from the Rogue River, Lt. Gregg Hastings of the Oregon State Police said at a press conference detailing the Kim family's ordeal.
"There were no injuries to the body that would be incapacitating," Hastings said, citing autopsy results. No information was made available about the time of Kim's death.
The time line leading to his death
The family left a Denny's restaurant in Roseburg, Ore., at about 9 p.m. on Saturday, November 25, intending to travel west to their destination of Gold Beach, Ore., via state Highway 42, Hastings said. They missed the interchange, however, and after looking at an Oregon map decided to travel west via Bear Camp Road. The map warns that the road might be closed during the winter.
At about 10:30 p.m., driving in rain and snow, and after noticing signs warning of bad weather conditions, they decided to turn back. James Kim was forced to drive backward, and at one point drove with his door open so he could see behind him, Hastings said. They attempted multiple times to call for help using cell phones, but that area has scant reception, he said.
The family ended up, probably unintentionally, on a spur road, Hastings said, on which they drove about 15 miles. Around 2 a.m., with concerns about running out of gas, they decided to stop for the night and remain sheltered in the car.
They stayed in the car all day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, amid rain and snow, occasionally starting the car for warmth. On Wednesday, they used magazines and wet driftwood to build a fire. The wood was hard to get because it was frozen, Hastings said, so they tried to thaw it and keep it dry by putting it under the car.
On Thursday, the Kims burned the spare tire, and on Friday burned the remainder of their tires for heat and to signal for help. On that day they also heard a helicopter, Hastings said, but didn't know where it was.
As the week progressed, the Kims studied a map and determined that the town of Galice, Ore., was likely about 4 miles away. In reality, Hastings said, it was about 15 miles away.
Everyone is concern about him
Earlier a commercial satellite-imagery company said Tuesday it is rerouting one of its satellites to fly over the Oregon wilderness where rescue crews search for CNET editor James Kim.
GeoEye's Ikonos satellite flew over the Western seaboard at about 10:30 a.m. PT Wednesday at a distance from the Earth of about 423 miles, said Mark Bender, a spokesman for the Dulles, Va.-based GeoEye. The satellite could record images of an area as large as 2,000 square kilometers.
The cameras on the Ikonos could once boast the world's highest resolution, able to get a bead on objects 39 inches wide.
The satellite, which is used by the U.S. military for mapping and gathering intelligence, could be rendered useless if the weather is bad, said Bender. The snow and large trees would also make it nearly impossible for a satellite image to pinpoint Kim's location, but it could help authorities plan their search efforts, Bender said.
"We can't see through clouds," he said. "If it's cloudy, we wouldn't be able to get back for three days."
The forecast for the area around Grants Pass, Ore., where Kim is believed to be lost, calls for early morning fog.
"If you set a card table out on a street, we couldn't see it was a card table," said Bender, "but we could let you know something that looked like a card table was there."
Apparently the family survived for an entire week in the Oregon wilderness, keeping warm using the car heater and burning tires. James went out on snowshoes to search for help and his wife got frostbite on two of her toes but it did not drop off.
Arrangements are being made to transport Kim to an undisclosed location,. Kim, 35, had been missing for 11 days and was found at noon about half a mile from the Rogue River, authorities said.
"He was very motivated...he traveled a long way," Josephine County Undersheriff Brian Anderson said at a press conference.
Watch the Video created by Cnet for him here