Search for missing man continues

<p>Isaac Roberts</p>

A 40-year-old man from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, who rode by motorcycle to Wallowa County for the Chief Joseph Days weekend, has not been seen since Saturday, July 28.

The last two confirmed sightings of Isaac Roberts, according to Wallowa County Undersheriff Steve Rogers, were of Roberts walking along Highway 3 between mile-posts 22 and 20, and about five miles north of Snow Hollow Hill. Those sightings were at noon and 4:30 p.m., July 28.

Rogers says Roberts and a man Rogers preferred not to name were traveling by vehicle heading north July 28, when the vehicle ran out of gas. The other man hitchhiked back to Enterprise, got gasoline, and found Roberts waiting for him.

The man Undersheriff Rogers wished not to name told the county sheriff Roberts refused to accompany him back to Enterprise. Rogers said Isaac Roberts asked the man to take care of his motorcycle and belongings, and he was going to continue on to Coeur d’Alene.

Roberts is a 1990 graduate of Joseph High School and, according to his younger brother Shilo Roberts, of Oklahoma, not in the best of health. Shilo said his brother is suffering from asbestos damage to his lungs and “can’t walk more than a mile before sitting down.”

Rogers said he deployed the Wallowa County Search & Rescue team to the North Highway, with dogs, for two days of searching. He said footprints and a hat were found.

A reported sighting of Isaac Roberts at Boggan’s Oasis, where Highway 129 crosses the Grande Ronde River at the bottom of Buford and Rattlesnake grades, was determined to be inaccurate, Rogers said.

Rogers lists the search as an “ongoing observation” and says he has no reason to suspect foul play.

Shilo Roberts applauds Undersheriff Rogers for his efforts, yet has a differing opinion in regards to foul play. Shilo says he cannot comprehend why his older brother would refuse a ride back to Enterprise. Another point of suspicion Shilo addresses has to do with the last phone message placed on Isaac’s cell phone.

According to Shilo, Isaac phoned his wife Friday night, July 27; said he would be back in Coeur d’Alene in time to drive one of his sisters to the airport Saturday; and that Isaac’s cell phone has remained silent since that Friday night call.

He says Isaac and his wife, who first reported Isaac missing from Coeur d’Alene, are very close and rarely separated. That lack of communication raises more suspicion for the younger brother.

Another oddity of the case, according to Shilo Roberts, was a text he received from a sister in San Francisco on August 6, nine days after Isaac was reported missing. She told Shilo in that text she had just gotten off the telephone with the police department in Lewiston, Idaho (through which Isaac would have traveled en route to Coeur d’Alene) and they had not been notified that Isaac Roberts was missing.

Undersheriff Rogers said information on the Roberts case was sent electronically to Lewiston and other related police agencies, but added that an officer would need to discover the information and broadcast it according to that department’s policies.

“This is not an amber alert where it would surface automatically,” he said.

Anyone with information about Isaac Roberts is encouraged to call the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office at (541) 426-3131.

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