Roy Loren Stephens - Strange disappearances from U.S. Wilderness

Roy Loren Stephens, disappeared November 16th, 2005, Waldo Lake, Oregon

Roy Stephens disappearance

Roy Stephens, 48, was last seen in the evening hours in the vicinity of Highway 58, near the town of Crescent, Oregon.  His grey, 1991 Ford Taurus wagon was later located on November 25, 2005, at the Waldo Lake access road off Highway 58 in the Willamette National Forest.  

Waldo Lake is located in Lane County at an elevation of 5,414 feet (1,650 m) above sea level with access via Forest Service Road 5897 from Oregon Route 58 approximately 18 miles (29 km) east of Oakridge. The forest road travels 12 miles (19 km) to the lake.

Odell Lake Oregon

On November 16, 2005, Roy had left his work as a chef at Odell Lake Lodge after picking up his paycheck and had called his wife to ask if she wanted to go have dinner and drinks at the local tavern in Crescent City.  Unfortunately, she was feeling unwell and so she declined and he went ahead and went out and met up with his friends at the bar, and he’d been there a couple of hours since about 5 or 6 o’clock at night. He called her again at around 11 pm just to tell her that he loved her and that he was on his way home.  That was the last time that she spoke with him and the last time he was ever heard from or seen. 

She waited for him to come home for 2 days and reported him missing on the 18th of November, 2005. It was very out of character for Roy as sometimes he would be a little bit later and he would call and say that he was on his way and he’d come a few hours later, but he’d never been away overnight, or definitely never over a 24-hour period.  Roy's wife and son searched the area trying to find him when he didn't show up. Because she had just had triple-bypass surgery this was difficult for her and phoned neighbours and friends, but nobody had seen him since that night of November 16, 2005.  Friends said Roy had left the tavern and was going to stop by a friend’s house before he went home.

Roy had a scar in the shape of a "C" on the left side of his head and a  Scorpion tattoo on his shoulder.

Waldo Lake Road Oregon

On Thanksgiving Day 2005, hikers were walking up Waldo Lake Road found a car and as it looked suspicious they had called it to the Police saying that the car was abandoned.  The car was later identified as Roy's and it was around 10-15 miles from his home. It was completely in the opposite direction that he was going to see his friend's house. Roy's wallet and paycheck were left in the car on the passenger seat. There was vomit next to the car. 

There was some speculation that there was some sort of conflict between the two men that Roy was going to visit. Roy's community was very tight-knit and very closed-mouth, but there were rumours that he was with those two men and they were the last people that have seen him.

Family members tried to rally a community search and rescue effort, and we were told by local law enforcement that they would not be able to go up the mountain because it wasn’t safe.  But nobody in the local community offered or volunteered to help them to do anything. Three different law enforcement agencies had been involved in the case (Lane County, Klamath County and the Willamette National Forest). One, because Roy lived in Klamath County, but his car was found in Lane County and also in the Willamette National Forest. This didn't help the search, but in the end, only fours of searching were conducted and cadaver dogs were not even sent into the area months after Roy vanished. Clearly he was a low priority for search and rescue for some reason.

What happened to Roy Stephens on that evening in November 2005? Twelve years on and no trace has been found in the Waldo Lake area. Foul play seems a strong possibility but it was strange that his wallet and paycheck were left in the car. If Roy wanted to disappear it would seem likely he would take his wallet. Perhaps he was drunk, got disorientated, stopped the car on the road, vomited and then got lost in the woods?