More than two weeks have passed since a Myrtle Creek woman disappeared into the South Umpqua River and, so far, there has been no sign of her.

Myrtle Creek Police say 49-year-old Joanna G. Meyer is missing and presumed drowned after she was spotted going into the river April 4, by a citizen who was eating lunch that day near the Myrtle Creek train trestle. The citizen told police that the woman had been acting strangely prior to getting into the water.

“There was an eyewitness who said it looked like she was trying to make it to the other side of the river,” said Myrtle Creek Police Chief Don Brown. “The current caught her and as she entered the rapids she started going under and coming up, and going under again, and the witness never saw her again.”

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol, a swift water rescue team and medical personnel were dispatched but Meyer was not located.

“We searched for two days in the river and on the banks and we were unable to locate her,” Brown said.

Police said Meyer had been living in a transient camp along the South Umpqua River at the time she disappeared.

Brown said the woman is listed as missing and endangered but it is believed she did not make it out of the river.

Reporter Dan Bain can be reached at 541-957-4221 or e-mail at

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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