Search expands for San Francisco family missing in Northwest

Using off-road vehicles, helicopters and a Sno-Cat, Oregon state and county officials searched highways and roads in a nearly 12,000-square-mile section of the state on Friday after a San Francisco family was reported missing Wednesday.

James Kim, 35, Kati Kim, 30, and their children, Penelope Firefly Kim, 4, and Sabine Phyllis Kim, 7 months, left friends in Portland last Saturday afternoon, heading for a bed and breakfast in Gold Beach, Ore., on their way back to San Francisco from the Pacific Northwest. They never made it.

Oregon State Police patrolled “hundreds of miles of state and interstate highway” looking for an abandoned vehicle or signs of a car off the road, Lt. Greg Hastings said Thursday.

The Kims left their Noe Valley home Nov. 17, driving their silver 2005 Saab station wagon, with personalized plates reading “DOESF” toSeattle for business as well as family, according to Charlie Wright, a family friend who works at the Kims’ two San Francisco boutiques, Doe and Church Street Apothecary.

James Kim, a senior technology editor at CNET, met with Microsoft officials, and the family stayed in Seattle to eat Thanksgiving dinner with his aunt and uncle.

As they made their way south, the Kims stopped in Portland, where they ate lunch with friends at about 2 p.m. Saturday, Wright said. That was the last anybody who knew them saw of them.

The last call from either James or Kati Kim’s cell phone went out at about 2 p.m. Saturday, Wright said, but they made several calls to the hotel in Gold Beach from land lines on Saturday afternoon, saying they would be late for their reservation due to heavy weather.

“They asked the hotel — I think it was a bed and breakfast — to leave out a key so that they could get into their rooms. The bed and breakfast left the key out and the next morning the key was still there. They never arrived,” Wright said. Oregon state officials report neither of their credit cards have been used since Saturday.

Officials in Curry County, where Gold Beach is located, said they were using 4-by-4 trucks, a helicopter and a Sno-Cat to search an area known as Bear Camp Road that was snowed in over the weekend.

Members of the Kim family have contracted with one or more helicopter companies to fly along the major roads between Interstate 5 and U.S. Highway 101 at the coast, according to Oregon State Police.

San Francisco police urge anyone with information on the missing family to call Angela Martin, at the department’s missing persons unit, at (415) 558-5508. Additionally, Oregon State Police have set up a tip line at (800) 452-7888.

amartin@examiner.com

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