Training search locates body of woman missing since Nov.

The search for a local woman’s mother ended with the discovery of her body on Aug. 11 by a search and rescue training mission.

Megan Gosda’s mother had been last seen on Nov. 19. A search failed to locate her mother, Bonita Maria Nendel of Salem.

Nendel had been living in Salem with her sister. She left home late in the evening of Nov. 19. The following Tuesday, her car was discovered by two hunters in Wasco County between The Dalles and Madras. A small campfire and Nendel’s coat were found approximately 1,500 feet from the car. The vehicle was still operational.

After initial disappointment with search efforts, Gosda and her father, John Gosda, organized a search for Nendel themselves.

Nendel’s body was recovered about two miles west of her vehicle, which was in the vicinity of Highway 97.

Officials determined that Nendel had committed suicide, Gosda said. Two pill bottles and an alcohol bottle were located nearby. Her death most likely was caused either by exposure or toxins. She had no broken bones and apparently no injuries.

Her death has been recorded as Nov. 21.

“We were satisfied with that information,” Gosda said. “I think a part of me always knew becuae my mom would never leave me. If she had been alive, she would have contacted me, but it’s definitely nice to know.”

When the search for her mother began, “I was kind of disappointed at first,” Gosda said. “At first, they seemed kind of slow in searchin, but then they stupped up and were kind and helpful.”

Gosda had previously criticized the performance of law enforcement involved in the search.

Gosda wanted to extend a special thanks to those who joined her father in searching the area after the disappearance. She also thanked Allan Bros. Coffee, where Nendel was employed developing syrups and flavors, which donated provisions for the search party.

“Everyone in Sweet Home was so nice, helpul and supportive, all the people at my job, Thriftway; friends at school; strangers, they were so nice,” Gosda said. “It makes me happy to live in this town.”

Gosda is a 2001 graduate of Sweet Home High School.