Police may have found Merlin man who vanished more than a year ago

GALICE, Ore. — Richard Hillmann was last seen leaving a Thanksgiving party more than a year ago.

Neither he nor his car had been found… until his car was discovered this week.

NBC5 News spoke with Richard Hillmann’s family last fall in hopes that keeping his story in the headlines would bring about some new information or answers.

Thursday, his daughter, Lori, told us by phone that she’s thankful to finally have some answers, but it doesn’t make the pain of losing him any easier.

“That’s what we want… that’s all we want… we just want closure to this. We want to say our goodbyes,” said Lori Algra, daughter of Richard Hillmann.

A family may finally have answers after a father, grandfather, and loved one to many, vanished in November of 2017.

“The anguish is just unbearable,” said Algra.

Richard Hillmann had been living alone in a trailer park in Merlin.

During an interview in 2018, his daughter Lori Algra told us her father knew many in the Merlin community.

She says he was schedule-oriented, not a day would go by that wasn’t marked off on his calendar.

“His pills weren’t…he had his little pill case, you know, his daily pills…and when we saw his Thursday pills hadn’t been taken, we knew,” she said.

One afternoon, the 60-year-old went to a Thanksgiving party. It was a mere 8 minute drive from his house.

It’s the last anyone saw of him… or his Toyota pick-up.

“Deputies responded and found a pick-up that was sitting upright in the water,” said Sgt. Jeff Proulx, Oregon State Police.

That’s until, Hillmann’s car was found partially submerged in the Rogue River.

“There was a body in the vehicle… we have not confirmed who that person is,” said Sgt. Proulx.

Police say they’re still treating Hillmann’s disappearance as a criminal investigation.

Meanwhile, Hillmann’s daughter and family are still coming to terms with the news.

Lori Algra told us in a statement:

“We’re hoping this is at least a start of answering some questions that have gone unanswered for far too long.”

Stay withNBC5 News for more updates on this developing story.

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