Jennifer Moore, of Warrendale, was driving near Dodson, Ore., east of Portland along the Columbia River and the border with Washington, around 1 a.m. Jan. 13 when her SUV was swept away by the landslide, the department said in a news release.
Searchers estimated her car was buried under about 15 feet of mud, rock and logs and a contractor hired by the sheriff’s department had to use a high-powered metal detector to find its exact location.
To reach her car, crews had to use heavy machinery like front loaders and dump trucks.
“It’s not the outcome everyone would have hoped for,” River Patrol Unit Sgt. Steve Dangler said in a statement, “but at least at this point, it brings closure to the family and allows them to begin the grieving process.”
Moore’s husband told reporters he had been on the phone with her at the time of the landslide, FOX 12 of Oregon reported.
He said he was driving ahead of her in a separate car after they had a dinner date and heard her scream followed by crashing noises.
An evacuation notice went into effect in the area early that morning due to the risk of flash flooding after a stormy night, according to FOX 12. Residents were allowed to return home as of Jan. 17.