This is my friend, Nathan Haynes. The last time I spoke to him was on the phone last Monday, September 10, 2018 around 2:30pm.
He sounded distressed and scared. He didn’t know where his car was and he wanted to come back home to Maine.
I didn’t fully understand why he was in Oregon, he was speaking so fast, but I did understand the fear and confusion he conveyed.
I also understood my own anxiety and guilt. I had no money even though I want to see him back home safe with his family and friends. Even though my first thought was, “I’ll come get you,” I didn’t have the practical means to make that happen.
Instead, I asked where he was. The best I could make out what that he was at one of the chapels for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints over there. He was trying to find help from them, but it was Monday afternoon and their doors were closed and locked.
So I gave him my cousin’s cell number because he’s a very active member of the church. I hoped that my cousin would be able to point my friend in the right direction since I had no idea who he needed to contact. My friend said he would call me back. He hasn’t.
Late last night, this missing person’s report from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office popped up in my Facebook feed.
So I contacted my cousin. I asked if my friend called him. My cousin said that he had, and said that my friend was asking for money to come home and that he had told him to contact the missionaries in the area to get him connected with the bishop.
Now I feel guilty. I know he’s fairly new to the church and probably doesn’t understand how the channels work. He probably felt like we were blowing him off when none of us were. In retrospect, I wished I had thought to keep him on the phone and looked up the church directory for the area he was in online and found the number he needed myself.
I wish I had been in the proper head space to think of that and organized a proper rescue mission for him. There was a time that I believe I could have done it.
He said all of his things were in his car – including his meds and phone. I really hope he hasn’t spiraled down into a mess or panic.
So please, if you have seen him or know anything contact the sheriff’s office listed in the missing persons report. I will update you all when he’s been found.