Richard R Lee - Strange disappearances from U.S. forests

Richard R Lee - Strange disappearances from U.S. forests

Richard R. Lee, disappeared September 9th, 2004, Colchuck Lake, Wenatchee-Okanogan National Forest, Washington.

Colchuck Lake, Washingron

Richard R. Lee, 47, of Hobart, King County went hiking alone on September 9, 2004, on a trip expected to take two days, in the Wenatchee-Okanogan National Forest in Washington State. He was an experienced hiker in the wilderness and planned to explore the Colchuck Lake area, part of the Cascades. 

The area was rugged but the weather was perfect when Richard set out. During the 2 days, he phoned his brother using a cell phone to tell him all was well. 

On September 11th, Lee failed to return to his home in Hobart and the authorities were eventually informed of his disappearance on September 15th by his wife, who wasn't initially concerned when he didn't return home on the 11th. Searchers quickly set up a 70-square-mile search area focusing on Lake Stuart, Colchuck Lake and the Enchantment Lakes to the southwest of Leavenworth. Unfortunately up to eight inches of snow fell in the area at the same time making the efforts of the search and rescue teams more difficult.  Three planes from the state Department of Transportation were used and Chelan County Mountain Rescue crews were assisted by volunteers from King, Yakima and Kittitas counties.


Searchers found Richard's car and eventually his camp site well off the trail. His kit like his sleeping bag and food was found in a tree to prevent bears getting to it. But nothing else relating to Richard Lee was ever located. No body, bones, equipment, clothing or signs of a struggle/blood associated with an animal attack.  There were reports by some searchers that they had a "uncomfortable" feeling around Lee's camp, but weren't specific on why.