Death of 8 wolves and missing livery cab driver linked

Oregon police authorities are seeking anyone with information about a livery cab driver who disappeared last week, at the same time that eight wolves were poisoned in the area.

The livery cab driver, identified as Bryce Ruth, told police in Portland that he’d been working in the area of the Willamette National Forest on Wednesday morning, and had driven to a state park to pick up two people he met at the park on Monday. Ruth reported the alleged encounters to police on Thursday.

Just hours after Ruth was reported missing, the packs of wolves he’d visited appeared poisoned, all dying at about 8 p.m. on Thursday night. Ranchers and conservationists in the region immediately began a search, canvassing the wildlife area where the wolves had been spotted.

The first trip that Ruth had taken to the wildlife area where the wolves were found poisoned.

For the most part, Ruth didn’t spend much time in the wilderness, according to Carissa Cutrell, who works with officials in the area. Ruth has a license plate reader on his car — a type of surveillance device designed to look for license plates along the side of a road.

Cutrell said that Ruth’s records indicated he went nearly half a mile off the road and then ended his trip, heading straight back to his Lazy Owl taxi shop.

“We believe it’s possible that he knew those wolves were poisoned,” Cutrell said. “He didn’t go very far into the wilderness, nor did he go as far back as the plane the driver said he came from.”

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