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CNET editor’s family found; editor Kim still missing

December 5, 2006

[UPDATE: James Kim’s body was found Wednesday…. more here]

I’ve been following this story closely all week, hopeful for a good outcome.

We got part of it late yesterday night.

James Kim's family found in Oregon (AP)As a fan of CNET, the technology and computer review site and TV network (and CNET’s Buzz Out Loud podcast), I’m familiar with the work of James Kim, who is a former TechTV host and CNET’s senior editor for audio products. He was also writing a book on the Microsoft Zune.

Kim and his family drove up to Pacific Northwest coastline on a Thanksgiving weekend road trip. They did not return as planned on the next Monday, and a search began.

Yesterday, Kim’s wife and two children were found in the Oregon mountains with their car. James was not with them, and had left to get help two days before.

He has not yet been found, as of writing this post.

More from Crave, the CNET blog:

Kati Kim, 30, and daughters Penelope and Sabine–4 years and 7 months, respectively–are being treated at Three Rivers Community Hospital in Grants Pass and are listed in good condition. Hospital spokeswoman Laura Biggers said Sabine is being held overnight for observation.

Kati-Penelope

The lost family had “minor provisions” and stayed warm using the car heater, then burning tires when they ran out of gas, authorities said. After searches in Oregon’s Curry and Douglas counties, cell phone signals narrowed the search back to the Bear Camp area in Josephine County, according to reports.

Authorities said search teams, including a helicopter equipped with night vision capabilities, will be working throughout the night Monday to locate James Kim, whose footprints are visible in some spots. The search could include dogs and horses on Tuesday, as well as rescuers from three counties.

“We have two Forest Service officers that are following the footprints the best they can. We will be out all night and we will be working 24/7 until we bring him home,” a sheriff’s representative said. “The weather has been cold at night, but the family that was found today is in good shape. They did well for nine days.”

ABC News has more on James’ efforts:

On “Good Morning America,” Sandy Fleming, Kati’s mother, said she had spoken to her daughter after her rescue.

“She was just so happy the girls were OK and that they had been found,” Fleming said.

To help the family cope, James made the ordeal seem like a camping trip.

“James set up camp for them, just like it was a camping trip for them, to help them get through it. They had the store of things that they would normally have for the girls. … Bottled water, blankets,” Fleming said.

The Rescue and the Wrong Turn

[The family] survived on baby food and berries. Kati breast-fed both children to keep them alive.

The family’s Thanksgiving road trip turned into a fight for survival when a wrong turn sent them down a rural mountain road.

There was no cell phone service, but the family’s phone sent out a pair of “pings,” or brief signals, to a nearby cell tower, transmitting enough information to narrow the search to a remote part of southern Oregon. …

Fleming said her daughter was worried about her husband.

“Her concern was again, she said, ‘Mom, James left. He left two days ago. We had a plan. He set off at 7:45 in the morning, and he would turn around at 1 in the afternoon if he didn’t find the road. But he didn’t come back.”

Rescuers are tracking James’ footprints through the snow, and they’ve deployed a helicopter that may be able to zero in on him through his body heat.

He’s reportedly only wearing jeans, a sweater and light jacket, although according to some reports he may have fashioned his own snowshoes. Overnight temperatures in the region have been in the mid-20s to mid 30s.

And the wait continues for the tech community. Unlike all my blog’s Britney Spears drivel, this is a story that matters. Here’s hoping they find Kim in good health.

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Crave: The gadget blog | Kim family found

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