Update: Hiker still missing in Middle Fork area of North Bend

UPDATE | August 23rd

A message from Shirley Baumann’s daughter, Jane-

“I would people to know my mom is still missing in the Middle Fork area off the Quartz Creek trail on the way to Lake Blethen. If people are going out hiking in the area to keep their eyes open for any sign of her. She is my best friend and I just want her home.

“I know she is still out there somewhere she can’t just vanish. A beloved person in the community, people saw her almost every day working with the flowers at Ace Hardware, riding her bike, or walking the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. She loved to help the homeless community buying them sleeping bags or ground mats, even tents. I know she is missed by many. I just really want my mom and best friend back.”

Our original story quoted KCSO as saying her car was found at the trailhead. We now have updated information that says in fact her car was not found at the trailhead but that her son dropped her off the day she went to camp. Her gear and tent were found at her campsite that was located approximately 2 to 2.5 miles up the Quartz Creek Trail.

Friends and family continue to search for answers to Shirley’s disappearance and ask anyone with information on her location to call 911 and/or the King County Sheriff’s Office at 206-296-3311.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Friend and family of North Bend resident Shirley Baumann are still looking for answers to her disappearance after she went hiking to Lake Blethen on July 20, 2020 and didn’t return on July 22nd as planned.

According to King County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Ryan Abbott, Search and Rescue volunteers have spent over 3,000 hours searching for 61-year old Baumann in the Snoqualmie River Middle Fork area of North Bend. She was last seen hiking near Quartz Creek Trail.

Baumann is a very experienced hiker. A friend said she hikes almost every week. She is 5’4′, 145 pounds, has hazel eyes and blonde hair.

Sgt Abbott said the area she was in has many large cliffs, making it hard to search on foot. He described the area as treacherous terrain.

Abbott said crews found Baumann’s car at an area trailhead and a friend said dogs were able to pick up her scent on the trail and near her campsite.

After King County Search conducted an extensive ground search in late July, they also searched by air using drones and helicopters.

Sgt. Abbott said King County SAR plans to conduct another ground search for Baumann soon, but he wasn’t sure of the exact date when that would occur.

Anyone who was in the Middle Fork area at the time Shirley went missing and may have seen her, or has any information, is asked to please call 911.


Red pin is location of Quartz Creek Trail

Comments

  1. She never had a car that’s why you never found it

  2. Sgt Abbott said the area she was in has many large cliffs, making it hard to search on foot. He described the area as treacherous terrain.
    Abbott said crews found Baumann’s car at an area trailhead and a friend said dogs were able to pick up her scent on the trail and near her campsite.

    • I hiked this exact area August 3rd (i have chills reading this). About 2.5 miles into quartz creek trail- me and my dogs diverted off the trail. I read about an arsenic spill site WA has deemed as un-fixable and poked my nose into the more mossy foilage to see any red fluids. (I digress) Let’s just say the forrest floor heading down to the spill of ‘rainy mine’ is practically hallow. Luckily i weigh 112lbs. It wasnt new growth and wasnt old either but the mossy floors are absolutly deceiving. The shafts for mining were vertical not horizontal (and an absolute disaster as far as safety goes…it’s had 9 different owners). Anywho, once i got back on the gravel main quartz creek trail…2 fresh wet hot steamy bear poops (not 100% sure but bigger than horse poop and full of berries/my dogs were scared) were by my jacket (I left my sweaty neon shell clothes on the quartz trail to help me get back home/it’s how I roll). With the virus going on who do you report this stuff to? bear poop activity). However a bear is most likely going to run away! The hallow gaps in the floor definitely had bear scratches in neighboring tree trunks. But i can’t imagine a bear not rippin’ thru her camp site, (literally RIP) if they were curious for a meal. Makes me think it was a crazy hunter (yes im such a girl). I was told homeless used to camp about 1.5miles in quartz creek last year due to old reckage from mining cabins(facts from goldmeyer property care takers)…I definitely was on my toes from this werid two cents about the homeless. It seems so very inhabitable in some parts and dangerous in others! I wonder if moterized bikes were seen on the trail that day? That trail used to be a road for trucks. Prayers to her and her fam.

  3. Just a few random thoughts…”She was last seen hiking near Quartz Creek Trail.” Meaning, another hiker/a stranger saw Shirley, or spoke to her tool. I wonder if it was Shirley’s blonde hair made her memorable to this witness or it was unusual for someone else to be there? Not from the area, so I have no idea how popular the trail is or how well frequented. I think it’s likely the witness spoke with her, albeit briefly, perhaps telling the person where she was going. I wonder what day the witness saw/spoke to Shirley? I assume the day she started out on her hike. It’s not clear where Shirley’s campsite was. I assume halfway down the trail or thereabouts. Would she have left her campsite to continue hiking to Lake Blethen and then return or would she pack up her things and take them with her? Did Shirley step off the trail for some reason and something bad happen? I’m trying to think why someone would leave their campsite, unless they were run off/spooked by something, went to look at something/take photographs, or embark on a day hike. Judging from the article, her reading glasses, sunglasses and her cell phone were not found. She may have normally carried these on her person. I wonder if they tried to ping her phone? Or is it simply too remote an area? The scary part is, was Shirley still alive during the initial search, perhaps with a broken leg/back, and was unable to communicate with searchers? Whatever happened to her, I hope she will be found soon.

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