Family seeks information on missing son

A grief-stricken family is desperate for any piece of information that could lead to the whereabouts of a 25-year-old Medford man who has been missing since June and whose car was later found abandoned in a rugged area near Klamath Falls.

A search by three counties is underway for Ryan Finchum, who was last seen June 3 in Medford, according to his mother, Leigh Finchum.

Leigh Finchum, who lives in Texas, said it is "extremely" out of character for her son to not regularly contact his family, including his 7-month-old daughter.

"Anyone who knows Ryan and has some information, no matter how trivial it might seem, should contact the police," Leigh Finchum said. "It could be very important."

Finchum's mother is fearing the worst after his 2002 Dodge Intrepid was found June 7, mired in mud and water in a desolate area south of Klamath Falls near the California border.

"From what we understand that is a place where criminals dump stolen cars," Leigh Finchum said.

Police found Finchum's cell phone and other personal items inside the car. The fact that the cell phone was left behind disturbs his family.

"He would never, never leave that cell phone," his mother said.

To date, Jackson, Klamath and Siskiyou county sheriff's departments have joined in the search, using ground crews and air support. A search group of 45 people combed the Klamath River Canyon on all-terrain vehicles but could not find a sign of Finchum.

Finchum has faced some adversity in his life in recent years, his mother said, but was proud of his daughter and would often take her on walks to the Rogue Valley Mall.

He served a brief stint in the Army before he was discharged with a medical issue, Leigh Finchum said.

Finchum was looking for a job in the days before he went missing, she said.

Finchum stands 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 250 pounds. He has red hair and several tattoos, including "FINCHUM" splayed across his should blades, a large Celtic cross with praying hands clutching dog tags across his back, two M-16 rifles on his left bicep and a skull with a rattlesnake on his right bicep.

Finchum grew up in a military family and lived in several spots across the country. He lived for a time in Norman, Okla., where he still has friends.

Leigh Finchum believes it's highly unlikely he traveled back to Norman without telling his family.

The family is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to his whereabouts.

"Somebody saw something; somebody knows something," his mother said. "We just need to know where he is, whether he is alive or otherwise. We need to know."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Klamath County Sheriff's Department at 541-883-5130.

Chris Conrad is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. Reach him at 541-776-4471; or e-mail

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