Before he went missing, Jonathan Croom had developed an obsession with the movie "Into the Wild," in which a young man leaves society to go live off the land.
The movie's main character dies. So did Croom. The 18-year-old's body turned up in rural Oregon Monday, authorities say.
It was a 1,000 feet away from his abandoned car, which officers found last week.
With the horrific news involving guns from Newtown, Connecticut, in the past week, here’s a story with a happy ending and one that illustrates how kids can be more responsible than adults when it comes to weapons.
It appears as though the Clackamas Town Center is looking to return to normalcy after a deadly shooting at the mall.
The Clackamas Town Center just announced on their Facebook page that they will reopen tomorrow at 9 a.m. PST. The mall had been closed after gunman Jacob Tyler Roberts shot three people on the second floor of an Oregon mall.
You can read more about Roberts' history and about the two victims killed at the mall here:
We're learning more about the people involved in the shooting at a mall near Portland, Oregon.
Police say Jacob Tyler Roberts, 22, opened fire Tuesday, killing Cindy Ann Yuille and Steven Forsyth before shooting himself.
Here's what we know so far from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office about the victims and the suspect:
A masked gunman opened fire at an Oregon shopping mall Tuesday. Three people, including the gunman, are dead, authorities said. Gunfire erupted at the Clackamas Town Center mall outside Portland shortly before 4 p.m. PST.
[Update 9:39 p.m.]
The gunman died of what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Clackamas County Sheriff's Sgt. Adam Phillips said. He did not release the identity of either the shooter or the victims. Law enforcement did not fire any shots during the incident, he said.
[Update 8:40 p.m. ET]
Witness Kira Rowland told CNN's Anderson Cooper she was with her infant in the Macy's cosmetics area when the shooting broke out. She estimated she heard about 25 shots fired.
"I can't help but think that if I hadn't stopped to smell that perfume, maybe me and my baby wouldn't be here today," she said, her voice breaking.
[Update 8:35 p.m. ET]
Clackamas County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. James Rhodes said the shooter and two victims were dead and only one person was injured.
He said nearly 100 officers from several agencies were on the scene, searching the mall and controlling the crime scene.
"Where it began specifically in the mall I don't know," he said.
Rhodes asked witnesses to call or come to the sheriff's office to describe what they saw.
Cell phone service was overwhelmed by the volume of calls, he said, and asked people seeking information to be patient.
"I heard something similar to a .22 popping, probably eight times," witness Christina Fisher told CNN affiliate KOIN. She said people dropped to the floor and cooperate with one another to get to safety. She said she was about to leave through the Sears store, but then police blocked the doors.
[Update 8:28 p.m. ET] Witnesses and others near the scene were tweeting about their experiences.
Well, I'm alive, but the shots were close enough that I felt the air pressure change on my neck. Clackamas Town Center.—
Bill Cameron (@bcmystery) December 11, 2012
In the mall hiding in the back room. There was a shooting at clackamas. Through the window literally 15 feet in front of us. #terrified—
Jenna Hope (@jennahopeee) December 11, 2012
[Update 8:22 p.m. ET]
Witness Holli Bautista told CNN's Anderson Cooper she saw people ducking for cover in the mall's food court. She said she was not able to leave the mall parking lot because police were blocking the exits and that people were still locked inside the mall itself. Bautista said she heard about 10 shots fired and that several triage centers had been set up.
"I'm terrified. It's scary," she said. "... My thoughts and prayers are with anyone who's injured."
[Update 8:19 p.m. ET]
"Multiple victims" have been shot, said Public Safety Director Steve Campbell of the city of Happy Valley.
[Posted 8:11 p.m. ET]
A witness told CNN affiliate KOIN she saw a man running through the mall wearing a hockey goalie mask and carrying an assault rifle.
Clackamas County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. James Rhodes said one person was killed, and possibly more. He said the shooter had been "neutralized," but did not clarify what that means.FULL STORY
Authorities in Oregon are investigating how a hog farmer was eaten by his animals.
The remains of Terry Vance Garner, 70, were found in his hog enclosure Wednesday, according to local news reports Monday.
The farmer had gone to feed the hogs, some weighing as much as 700 pounds, about 7:30 a.m., according to a report from CNN affiliate KMTR. After Garner was not seen for several hours, a family member went to check on him and found his dentures in the hog pen. Other remains were found, but the hogs had eaten most of the farmer, according to the report.
The sheriff's department is looking into the death.
Residents near Agate Beach in Oregon were shocked when they saw a 66-foot long dock had washed ashore.
The massive dock was spotted earlier in the week floating offshore, a mile north of Newport, according to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. And upon closer examination it was clear that it wasn't just your ordinary ocean debris. The placard, bearing Japanese writing, gave them a hint.
Instantly the question was: Is this another giant piece of debris from the tsunami in Japan last year that's made its way to U.S. shores? It certainly wouldn't have been the first time - and likely won't be the last.
Debris from the March 2011 tsunami in Japan began showing up on western U.S. shores in recent months.
After some testing and translation officials confirmed that the derelict dock was indeed debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan, the parks department said, citing the Japanese Consulate in Portland.
The parks department said they were able to trace the dock back to Japan after having the local Japanese consulate translate the placard which reveals a company name, location and phone number. Havel added that tires on the dock were determined to have come from a company in Japan. And officials testing plants and wildlife found on the dock learned they were native to Japan.
At first residents were told to stay away from the giant dock, which is 7 feet tall and 19 feet wide.
The dock, made of concrete and metal, posed concerns about whether it might be radioactive at first. Oregon parks spokesman Chris Havel told CNN that officials tested the dock for radiation but the tests were negative.
There have been concerns that tsunami debris from Japan could be contaminated by radiation because of problems at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said that it is unlikely that radioactive material will make landfall in North America.
Read more about other tsunami debris and radiation concerns:
– CNN's Linda Hall, Shawn Nottingham and Casey Wian contributed to this report.
Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
We last spoke of jets carrying shuttles and planes dodging Venus, and we're venturing skyward again (after the security check) with this story of a man who stripped naked at Portland International Airport in Oregon to protest TSA searches. Many of our readers have hailed him as some sort of unclothed hero, while others aren't sure about the value of being naked in public.
CNN has already spoken with John Brennan, the naked flier, and we found him apparently commenting on the story about the incident. One of the posts gave this advice:
John Brennan: "Always smile for your mug shot. I look so grim, but I'd never been to jail before."
From our other readers, this was the most-liked comment:
Anex: "While it sucks for the people who had to wait because of him, or the children's/passerby's poor eyes, I respect what he did. His protest was non-violent and just shows the general sentiment of airport security."
USA401: "Yes but it is also illegal to be naked in public and refusing to cooperate. Lets face it, those are two things we want to keep as laws."
Many of our readers said people need to calm down and realize that airport security is a necessity.
collagekid: "Get off your high horse and deal with it. If you dont want to fly because the TSA may feel you are hiding something or have cause to search you then don't fly. Its your right not to; however, when you purchase a ticket I feel you give up your right to some of those privacies and liberties. I have no problem with TSA doing whatever and whenever to ensure that they can prevent someone from inflicting harm on an airplane or worse. The truth is, when they search children or people in wheelchairs, they do it because there are people out there who are disturbed enough to strap a bomb to a child!"
A few readers with knowledge about Portland's local laws had a different take. FULL POST
A man in Portland, Oregon stripped naked in an airport last night to protest the screening process. Whether you think he's a hero or just plain crazy, he definitely tops our list of awkward TSA patdowns. He’s certainly not the first person to have an awkward encounter in a state of undress. You’ve Gotta Watch these uncomfortable moments in public nudity history.
When a 50-year-old man felt that TSA screeners were “harassing” him at the Portland International Airport, he decided to strip down in protest. See what the bystanders saw — if you dare.
This woman reached 128 miles per hour in her car before getting pulled over by police. When she stepped out of the car, police were stunned to find that she was mostly naked. See how she acts in the back of the police car.
These performance artists tried “exposing” Wall Street with a naked protest. Their goal was to promote transparency, of course. Watch the stunt that shocked even the most hardened New Yorkers.
A 50-year-old man who said he felt that airport screeners were "harassing" him stripped naked at Portland International Airport, police in Oregon said.
Police charged John E. Brennan with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after he disrobed while going through the security screening area at the airport Tuesday evening.
"When interviewed about his actions Mr. Brennan stated he fly's a lot and had disrobed as a form of protest against TSA Screeners who he felt were harassing him," a police incident report said.
He was not intoxicated or under the influence of drugs at the time, police said.
Brennan was scheduled to fly on Alaska Airlines from Portland to San Jose, California.
Police said screeners asked him "numerous times" to put on his clothes, but he refused.
"Mr. Brennan's actions caused two screening lanes to be closed and while some passengers covered their eyes and their children's eyes and moved away from the screening area, others stepped out of the screening lanes to look, laugh and take photos of Mr. Brennan," the police report said.FULL STORY
An Atlanta Fire rescue crew saves a man from drowning in mud. You "gotta watch" how they pulled him from more than 4 feet of mud near a construction site. In Oregon, see how a team used a rope and pulley system to save a quarter horse from a septic tank. And watch how a Good Samaritan saves a man from drowning in Oregon's Willamette River.
An Atlanta Fire Dept. batallion chief explains how crews saved a man from being buried alive in thick mud near a construction site.
A man drowning in Oregon's Willamette River was saved by a good Samaritan.
Portland firefighters were able to rescue a 34-year-old horse named Roxy after she fell into a septic tank.
A 3-year-old girl had emergency surgery after 37 of them perforated her stomach and intestines. A 12-year-old Australian had her bowel torn in four places after swallowing five of them.
They are powerful pea-size magnets marketed as stress relievers for harried adults but called a safety risk for children by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The magnets are sold under the brand names Buckyballs and Nanospheres among others.
"We want parents to be aware of the danger associated with these innocent-looking magnets," safety commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in a November statement. "The potential for serious injury and death if multiple magnets are swallowed demands that parents and medical professionals be aware of this hidden hazard and know how to treat a child in distress."
The Consumer Product Safety Commission then reported 22 incidents involving the magnets from 2009 through October. "Of the reported incidents, 17 involved magnet ingestion and 11 required surgical removal of the magnets. When a magnet has to be removed surgically, it often requires the repair of the child's damaged stomach and intestines," the commission statement said.
A large owl from the eastern United States might pay for its intrusion into the West Coast if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has its way.
The service is considering an experiment in which it would kill or transfer some barred owls – sometimes referred to as the hoot owl, thanks to its call – as part of a plan to preserve the smaller northern spotted owl, the agency said in a report this week.
The U.S. government has listed the northern spotted owl, whose range includes British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California, as a threatened species since 1990. Its population declined by 40% in the last 25 years, not only because of shrinking habitat, but also because the barred owl moved into the area starting in the late 1950s, the service says.
“Larger, more aggressive and more adaptable than the northern spotted owl, barred owls are known to displace spotted owls, disrupt their nesting and compete with them for food,” the service says on the Interior Department’s website. "Researchers have also observed instances of barred owls interbreeding with or killing spotted owls."
The service is now proposing killing or capturing barred owls in limited areas of the other owl’s range to see whether the removals allow the other owl’s population to bounce back.
The service is calling for one to 11 experiment sites in areas including national parks and recreation areas. Depending on the number of sites, the service would kill or transfer 257 to nearly 8,960 barred owls, according to the service’s environmental impact statement on the plan.
A day after heavy snowfall made Seattle streets look more like ski runs, freezing rain and accumulating ice shut runways at the city's airport Thursday and made travel even more treacherous.
The National Weather Service issued an ice storm warning for the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, portions of the coastline and the state's southwest interior, including the capital, Olympia.
"An ice storm warning means severe winter weather conditions are imminent or occurring," the weather service said. "Significant amounts of ice accumulations will make travel dangerous or impossible. Travel is strongly discouraged."FULL STORY
Snow was pelting Seattle and accumulating on roads early Wednesday as the city was poised to see what could be one of its largest-ever snowfalls in more than 70 years.
The Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area may see between 4 and 8 inches of snow as the second of twin storms moves across the Pacific Northwest, according to the National Weather Service.
The southwest interior of Washington state, including the capital, Olympia, could see 5 to 10 inches of snow, the weather service said.FULL STORY
Seattle could see one of its largest snowfalls since the 1940s as twin winter storms move over the Pacific Northwest during the next two days, according to the National Weather Service.
Between 5 and 9 inches of snow could hit the Seattle-Tacoma area Wednesday, with 6 to 10 inches falling before the storms pass early Thursday, said Dustin Guy, a meteorologist at the weather service's Seattle office.
Precipitation moving in from the south and west is combining with cold air moving south from Canada to create the heavy snowfall, Guy said. If snowfall amounts top 7 inches, the winter weather event will rank among Seattle's 10 worst since the early 1940s, he said.
Mountainous areas of the Pacific Northwest will see even more snow, with the largest accumulations on the eastern slopes of the Cascades, according to the weather service.
From late Tuesday through early Thursday, 2 feet to 3.5 feet of snow is forecast for the mountains east of Seattle, Guy said.
Oregon State football player Fred Thompson collapsed and died Wednesday night while playing basketball at a campus gym, the school reported.
Thompson, a freshman from Richmond, California, was pronounced dead after being transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis, the school said on its website.
The 6-foot-4, 317 pound defensive tackle died just four days short of his 20th birthday.
The university plans a press conference Thursday to discuss the case, according to the school's website.
Thursday morning, the website showed a picture of Thompson with the words "the thoughts and prayers of Beaver Nation are with Fred's family."
Oregon on Tuesday became the first state in the nation to use the iPad in the election process, allowing citizens in five counties to vote using the touch-screen tablet.
Although voting apps have popped up recently in the mobile phone market, Oregon is believed to have the first state program to offer the technology to some of its residents, according to election officials.
The pilot program allows senior citizens and voters with disabilities to use the sleek Apple interface to access a touch-screen ballot, adjust text size and color if necessary, and select their candidate by typing or by filling in “the bubbles with a pen,” State Elections Director Steve Trout told CNN on Tuesday.
It's all about convenience, Trout said, and making sure that voters with limited mobility can put their constitutional rights into practice.
And because it is less expensive than the system the state was using, the program saves dollars while it makes sense, he said.
“In government, it’s all about trying to do more with less,” Trout said.
An Oregon beach remained open but officials urged caution Friday, a day after a surfer survived a near-shark attack just off the shore.
Bobby Gumm, out surfing with friends about 200 feet from the beach, got the surprise of his life Thursday when he was suddenly launched into the air by an apparent great white shark, witnesses told local media.
“All the sudden I saw a 2-foot fin coming out of the water and it lifted up my friend in the air," Ron Clifford told CNN affiliate KPTV. Clifford was in the water when the incident happened. "I was scared for my life. I've never seen anything like that. It was like witnessing an almost murder," he was quoted as saying.
Chris Havel, spokesman for South Beach State Park where the incident happened, said warning signs were posted immediately after the incident.
“We acted on it right away because it was very obvious and proven, and it came from an experienced and knowledgeable person,” Havel told CNN on Friday.
Also there was the matter of a huge 23-inch chunk of the surf board missing.
A Oregon woman was in a Portland hospital Wednesday after falling 50 feet from a wilderness cliff, breaking her leg in two places and surviving more than three days on wild berries, caterpillars and creek water.
An Oregon National Guard helicopter pulled Pamela Salant, 28, to safety Tuesday afternoon, more than three days after she fell from the cliff after going on a hike in the Mount Hood National Forest, local media reported.
"She's beat up but she's alive, and she's going to be OK," Salant's boyfriend, Aric Essig, told CNN affiliate KATU-TV in Portland late Tuesday. "She had moments of being scared, but she said she had moments where she was just very determined. ... It was down to survival. She thought she was going to die."
The two had gone in separate directions around noon Saturday in search of a better campsite near Bear Lake, according to the TV station.
"I walked all around the lake expecting to meet up with her at some point, and I walked all the way back to the camp and just didn't see her," Essig told KATU. He called the sheriff's office after she hadn't showed up by Sunday morning.
Hood River County Sheriff Joe Wampler told KATU that searchers used two shoe prints found over the three days to determine the direction Salant traveled and narrowed their search from there.
A copter spotted her Tuesday afternoon sitting on a log near a creek. She had no camping equipment or survival gear with her when she got lost, deputies told CNN affilate KOIN-TV in Portland.