By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Sean Kosky's family still searching

Sean has been missing since September 2012. A Go Fund Me account has been created to raise more money for expenses.

Submitted photo##Sean Kosky has been missing since September 2012.
Submitted photo##Sean Kosky has been missing since September 2012.

Denise Farnham-McGunnigle knows that her son, Sean Kosky, is dead.

An epileptic, Sean couldn't have survived long without the medication he took to ease his seizures. He left the medication behind when he disappeared in woods west of McMinnville on chilly Sept. 30, 2012.

If he had just gotten sick, or somehow found transportation to another area, he would have been in touch, his mother said.

"We were very close. He'd have never left me," she said.

But while law enforcement officers, search and rescue specialists, family members and friends have searched exhaustively, no sign of the 24-year-old McMinnville native has ever been found. And until his body is discovered, Farnham-McGunnigle and her family cannot rest.

"We just want to bring Sean home," said Lori Farnham, Sean's aunt and Denise's sister.

"Then we can finally close this chapter and continue living," she said.

Sean went missing during what was supposed to be a pleasant weekend with his cousin, who was staying in the caretaker's cottage at the Miller Woods educational site. He had been hospitalized for several weeks that summer. Now he was feeling better and ready to relax.

His mom was supposed to pick him up Monday morning, but the cousin texted her to tell her Sean was gone and search and rescue teams were on the way.

Since that day, Farnham-McGunnigle, her sister and other family members have explored every option: searching the Miller Woods area numerous times after the official search was called off; pleading for anyone with clues to contact the Yamhill-County Sheriff's Office; talking with hunters in the area; even consulting with psychics who called the family offering ideas.

In fact, Sean's mother and aunt followed up on another psychic's tips on Tuesday. The psychic had suggested searching for any old wells or cisterns on the property -- an unlikely prospect, since search dogs surely would have found Sean if he'd stumbled into a well, his mother said, but worth checking anyway.

"We have to explore any option," said Farnham-McGunnigle, who feels her wounded heart rip open anytime she hears about a body being discovered.

Their next step is hiring a private detective, whom they believe may be able to dig into leads that haven't yet been explored. They are hoping to raise $7,000 to pay for the detective; any excess will be donated to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The family is seeking financial help to pay for the detective. Donations may be made to the Find Sean Kosky effort at the Go Fund Me website,

His cousin, Jude Kizer, who started the Go Fund Me effort, notes on the site, "Sean loved being with his friends, nature, playing chess, making people laugh ... (he) always stood up for those he cared about, and loved his family above all else"

Checks also may be sent directly to the family by mailing them to: Find Sean Kosky, 1176 S.W. Westvale St., McMinnville.


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