By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Amity man reported missing

Friends and relatives of Topher Bernards of Amity have organized a search for him.

The 34-year-old was last seen about two weeks ago in the Cottage Grove area, walking north on Interstate 5, according to his sister, Angie Bernards of Portland.

Originally from Sheridan, he is about 5-foot-9, weighs about 130 pounds and has brown hair and blue eyes.

On her Facebook page, Angie Bernards posted this message:

“I have searched far and wide and I cannot find a trace of what my brother was doing before he disappeared. He just seems to have fallen off the planet. My brother would not leave his car and not contact me. No matter how busy we may get, we do not go this long without talking.”

She continued, addressing friends rallying to the cause, “You all mean so much to me and I feel so loved! Thank you to everyone who is helping with my search and who offer me support and love. I am strong only because you all help me through this.”

Capt. Tim Svenson of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office said a missing person’s report was filed with the agency, but the case had been referred to law enforcement officials in Cottage Grove and Lane County, because that’s where the missing man was last seen.

“On Sept. 15, we received a call from a cousin of his,” Svenson said. “She stated she received a text message from him on Sept. 8, telling her that his car had broken down near Cottage Grove. The cousin said she has tried call him back on his cell phone, and the calls just go to voice mail.”

The Oregon State Police office in Roseburg said it towed and impounded Bernards’ vehicle on Sept. 9, because it had been left unattended in a construction zone adjacent to Interstate 5.

“We asked the OSP office to go through the vehicle and look for any items that might be of help. Troopers did, and just found some receipts that indicated he had been traveling as far south as Roseburg and as far north as Washington.”

Bernards’ Amity residence has been checked several times, according to Svenson, and his name has been entered into Law Enforcement Data System as a missing and/or endangered person.

Angie Bernards said she has set up a GoFundMe account in hopes of raising enough money to hire a private investigator and retrieve her brother’s car from the impound lot.

“I’ve gotten some miscelaneous leads here and there,” she said Monday morning. “I just don’t have a lot to go on. I have no answers. I’m just trying to connect the dots. I don’t know what happened.”

She said her brother hasn’t been happy for an extended period of time. However, she said she knows that he would understand how upset family members would be not knowing what’s happened to him.

Anyone with information may call Angie Bernards at 971-237-8728 or contact one of the agencies involved in the case. 

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