Tor Bilet was last seen driving his pickup in the middle of the night down a remote, windy road east of Mount St. Helens. That was two months ago. His family in Woodinville has...
Tor Bilet was last seen driving his pickup in the middle of the night down a remote, windy road east of Mount St. Helens.
That was two months ago.
His family in Woodinville has scoured two states, has spoken to scores of police officers and local contacts, and has even rented a helicopter to try to find their loved one.
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“That’s what I want more than anything,” said Ruth Ann Young, Bilet’s mother and a well-known shopkeeper in downtown Kirkland. “It’s Christmas and you want your son home.”
Bilet, 21, left his mother’s home Oct. 21 for Sisters, Ore., where he planned to visit a friend and check out a potential job.
He apparently traveled south on Interstate 5 and turned east on Highway 12, just south of Chehalis in Lewis County, family members said.
He drove about 30 miles to Morton, where he stopped at a Chevron station to ask for directions. According to police and family members, Bilet used a pay phone to call his friend in Oregon at about 3 a.m. Oct. 22 to say he was lost. He scanned a map with gas-station attendants, then continued east on Highway 12 to Randle. From there, he turned south onto Forest Service Road 25.
Two witnesses reportedly saw Bilet driving south on the two-lane forest road, about 15 miles south of Randle in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, according to Morton police officials.
Apparently that was the last time anyone saw him.
Bilet was likely trying to take a back route to central Oregon, his mother said. His family has since talked to locals and handed out fliers from Morton to Vancouver, Wash., to Sisters.
The narrow forest road winds through the heart of the Cascades. When his mother rented a helicopter to scan the route, she was told there was only a 40 percent chance of spotting the black truck from the air.
Bilet had just started taking a new medication, and Young said she thinks her son may have become disoriented. He told his mother he would notify her when he arrived in Oregon that night.
“It’s very out of character for him not to call,” Young said.
Bilet was raised largely in Woodinville, where he graduated from the private Chrysalis School. He has an older brother and sister, and had been working as a photographer for State Farm Insurance, his mother said.
His mother owns the Spirit of Christmas store in downtown Kirkland.
When Bilet left, he had about $500 cash and a cellphone, which was used just once, in Seattle, at the beginning of his trip.
Bilet is white, about 6 feet tall, weighs about 200 pounds and has a shaved head. He was driving a black 1988 Chevrolet pickup with a white roof, converted Cadillac taillights and Washington license number A99356F.
Anyone with information should call police or a voice-mail number set up by Bilet’s family: 425-458-4525.
Ashley Bach: 206-464-2567 or firstname.lastname@example.org