UPDATE: Missing Vancouver teen found safe after two days near Mt. St. Helens

Anthony Mancuso vanished Sunday while hiking with his family

COWLITZ COUNTY — UPDATE: The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office reported that Vancouver 16-year-old Anthony Mancuso was found safe at 9:15 p.m. on Monday.

Cowlitz County Search and Rescue personnel located Mancuso’s shoes approximately 150 yards from where he had last been seen, and continued to search in that direction. A drone sporting an infrared camera also reportedly assisted in locating the teenager, who had been missing for almost 32 hours.

More than 100 people had been combing the area near the Hummocks Trailhead along Spirit Lake Highway, after Mancuso vanished while returning from a hiking trip with his family.

Anthony Mancuso, 16, of Vancouver has been missing since Sunday afternoon near the Hummocks Trail in Cowlitz County. Photo courtesy Cowlitz County Department of Emergency Management
Anthony Mancuso, 16, of Vancouver has been found after he went missing Sunday afternoon near the Hummocks Trail in Cowlitz County. Photo courtesy Cowlitz County Department of Emergency Management

Family members said Anthony Mancuso briefly stepped off of the trail, reportedly to go to the bathroom, but then never returned. Family members searched unsuccessfully before finding enough signal to reach out through social media.

Mancuso did not have any food or water when he left the trail, and was wearing only shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. 

A search was conducted both on foot, and through the use of a drone with heat-sensing capabilities Sunday evening.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was also brought in to conduct a search overhead, but darkness forced the search efforts to be suspended at 1 a.m. on Monday morning. 

A map showing the area being searched by more than 100 people from across the region. Photo courtesy Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office
A map showing the area being searched by more than 100 people from across the region. Photo courtesy Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office

More help was brought in on Monday morning at 8 a.m., including another helicopter and a U.S. Air Force rescue squadron from Portland. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office also brought in a bloodhound to help with efforts on the ground.

By early Monday afternoon, the Cowlitz County Department of Emergency Management called off a request for volunteers, saying nearly 100 people were assisting with the search, both on the ground and in the air.

A U.S. Navy helicopter assists in the search for 16-year-old Anthony Mancuso of Vancouver. Photo courtesy Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office
A U.S. Navy helicopter assists Monday in the search for 16-year-old Anthony Mancuso of Vancouver. Photo courtesy Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office
Nearly 100 people, including friends and family of Anthony Mancuso, spent all of Monday searching for the 16-year old Vancouver teen. Photo courtesy Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office
Nearly 100 people, including friends and family of Anthony Mancuso, spent all of Monday searching for the 16-year old Vancouver teen. Photo courtesy Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office

“At this time, due to the volume of family/friend volunteers, only specialized SAR teams are being contacted to join the search,” the agency said via Facebook. “Plans are in place to secure teams for a 3rd day of searching if necessary. We understand that people want to help, but it is important for the safety of all involved that helpers do not self-activate.” 

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About The Author

Chris Brown comes to Clark County Today with 15 years of local news experience as a reporter, editor, and anchor at KXL News Radio and KOIN-6 TV in Portland. In 2016, he won an Oregon Association of Broadcaster's award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series on America's Violent Youth. He has also been awarded by the Associated Press for Best Breaking News coverage as editor of Portland's Morning News following the 2015 school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The second oldest of eight home-schooled children, Brown graduated from high school two years early. After several odd jobs, he earned an internship at KXL Radio, eventually working his way into a full-time job. Brown has lived in Clark County his entire life, and is very excited at the opportunity to now focus full-time on the significant stories happening in his own back yard, rather than across “the river.’’ After a few years in Vancouver, he recently moved back to Battle Ground with his wife and two young daughters. When he's not working to report what's happening in Clark County, Brown enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, taking pictures, or working in the yard. He also actually does enjoy long walks on the beach, and sunsets.

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