UPDATE 12/14/15 – The remains found in October have been confirmed to belong to Dustin. The remains show that he “had hunkered down in the trees and stripped his clothes before he died,” reports Oregon Live.
UPDATE: 10/25/14 – The remains found on the north end of Steens Mountains which is about 7 miles from where the teen’s truck and backpack were found, are believed to belong to Dustin Self.
His ID was found with the remains, along with a credit card and keychain. There are no signs of foul play and authorities believe he must have died of exposure.
A coronary report and positive identification is pending.
UPDATE: 9/1/13 – The last search for Dustin was in the spring, after snow melted, but it yielded no hints to his location.
The sheriff announced on Friday that missing Dustin Self was hallucinating reports the NewsTimes. He telephoned his family and said he was seeing plants coming out of the ground and was running while making the call to his girlfriend.
Previous story: A 19-year-old Oklahoma teen who decided that he wanted to live off the land and search for meaning in his life is the focus of a search in the rugged back country of Oregon on Thursday.
Dustin Self who lived in Piedmont told his family that he wanted “to see if he could live in the wild,” and set off by himself to survive on his own. His parents stated he had little experience other than family camping trips and tried to talk him out of going, reports Fox News.
“We did everything we could to try to talk him out of it,” said Tammy Self, Dustin’s mother to the Associated Press. “He was leaving no matter what.”
Dustin’s parents last heard from him on March 15 when he called from a motel in Nevada. His girl friend last heard from him on March 16 when he called to say he was lost after his GPS guided him to a road near Steens Mountain in the high desert of Oregon.
On Monday, Dustin’s truck was found by a rancher on the northeast side of Steens Mountain which was stuck off the road. Dustin’s backpack and camping gear were gone from the truck, but the keys, his computer and GPS had been left behind.
“He is not a survivalist,” said his dad, Victor Self. “He is a very urban child.”
Tammy, Dustin’s mother said he had been reading books about survival and had watched the movie “Into The Wild,” about Christopher McCandless who gave up his worldly goods to live in the Alaskan wilderness. McCandless ended up accidentally killing himself when he ate a poison root.
“He thought he was going to eat berries,” Tammy said about her son. “We tried to tell him, berries don’t grow in the wintertime.”
After Dustin’s parents reported him missing there have been extensive searches along the road from Fields to Lakeview. After the discovery of his truck, the search was narrowed down to the Steens Mountain area. The snow and high winds have slowed the searchers progress, but the searchers will continue to work their way up the mountain, said Deputy Missy Ousley of the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, reports ABC News.
Authorities plan to search with a plane when the weather breaks.