LA GRANDE — Jarek Parker remains missing as of Monday morning, according to Lt. Jason Hays of the La Grande Police Department. There is no evidence of foul play, he said, and the police department and Union County Search and Rescue are continuing their search for the missing 13 year old.
Parker weighs 130 pounds and is 5 feet 4 inches tall with light brown hair and hazel eyes. When he went missing his family reported he took a backpack, a teal-colored fanny pack, camping supplies, food and water with him. An initial siting reported Parker was on Interstate 84 heading West near Perry, but a search of the area during the weekend turned up no signs of the teen.
Jarek’s mother, Emily Parker, said without any leads since the initial sighting there is not much of a direction to send people at this time. She said dozens of community members have been searching for him on ATVs, on foot and on the Grande Ronde River from La Grande to Perry and Hilgard alongside search and rescue volunteers and the police department.
The reasons for Parker’s disappearance are private, and Emily Parker said she and the family just want his safe return.
“He is not in trouble,” Emily Parker said. “We just want him to come home, and know he is okay.”
Hays said Jarek’s age makes the case more difficult than other missing person cases because of the lack of records from cellphone, social media, credit cards or bank accounts.
Hays also said Parker is not related to or connected with Jesse or James Parker of the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church.
Anyone with information to assist the police in locating Parker can contact Detective Ryan Miller with the La Grande Police Department at 541-963-1017.
“The La Grande Police Department knows that every hour that goes by where Jarek is missing is another hour of anguish Jarek’s family is experiencing,” Hays said.