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Updated 4:21pm - Jul 26, 2016

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Man’s body found below 80-foot cliff

A Portland man’s body was found at the bottom of an 80-foot cliff off U.S. Highway 199 east of Gasquet on Sunday morning.

James Vaughn, 51, was found after his wife contacted Oregon authorities Saturday to report him missing, said Del Norte County sheriff’s Commander Bill Steven.

During one of their last conversations, Vaughn had mentioned the Smith River and U.S. Highway 199, Steven said.

California Highway Patrol officers located Vaughn’s vehicle parked near mile post 27 beside the highway Saturday and requested Del Norte Search and Rescue to respond because of the steep cliffs around the car and no access to the water below, Steven said.

Search and Rescue volunteers used rapelling ropes to get to Vaughn’s body on the bank of the Smith River, Steven said. The Gasquet Fire Protection District aided in the effort.

Vaughn wasn’t breathing when rescuers found him, Steven said.

Foul play is not suspected, but an investigation continues, he said. An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Reach Anthony Skeens at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


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