The family of Heather Mounce Davison never gave up hope of finding their loved one.
The Dallas, Ore., mother of two had been missing since Saturday afternoon near milepost 180 on Highway 101 north of Florence.
Davison’s family gathered to assist emergency response crews in the search. Relatives and friends also came in from neighboring states to help in the search.
The search team was led by Davison’s parents, Les and Cindy Anderson, who had been combing the area where Davison’s car was found Saturday. They were beginning to tire due to the physical and emotional stress of the search.
Cindy recounted the hours leading up to the beginning of the search.
“We were at church camp when we got the news Heather was missing. There was no cell phone coverage there, so our daughter Kimery had to come 45 miles up to get us,” she said. “We came here as soon as we could and we went straight to the beach and started combing the area, but we didn’t find anything.”
Davison’s family continued searching during daylight hours for the next three days, without finding any trace of her.
The members of Davison’s family are people of faith, and they turned to that faith in this time of crisis.
The group met early Wednesday morning to discuss the plan for the day and, as usual, began the day with prayer and a hope that the search would be guided by their faith — and would therefore be successful.
“Les was so determined,” Cindy recalled. “He said, ‘I’m not going home till I find her.’”
The time that passed since Davison disappeared was growing, and the family was starting to mentally prepare for the worst.
“It had been a long week. Heather had been out there since Saturday,” said Les. “Friends from Idaho and California had come to support us, so we got together this morning and we prayed and prayed, because we weren’t sure what the outcome was going to be.”
The group, although somewhat discouraged, decided they would continue searching, believing God would intervene on their behalf.
Denton Davison, Heather’s new husband of little more than a week, took up the narrative at this point in the discussion.
“I was looking down the side of the cliff and I heard a voice,” he said. “At first I thought it was the family behind me. Or a seagull. The wind was whipping pretty good and it was hard to hear ... and I turned around and looked behind, so I could tell no one was actually talking to me. I kept looking up and I saw her hand and arm come up. That was all I could see, so I just started waving back and yelling her name. I could barely even see her.
“It really was a miracle that we found her.”
Denton then called 911.
Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue coordinated the rescue effort, utilizing a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from North Bend. The family was on the ground watching the rescue and they were awed by the effort that saved their daughter and wife.
“The Coast Guard was there in five minutes and those guys were amazing,” Les said. “They were so professional and they got there so fast — it was a miracle.”
Cindy was close to tears about her daughter’s rescue.
“It’s a joy and a miracle, and we are all so happy and relieved that we found her and she is alive and she will be OK,” Cindy said. “We just want to thank everyone that helped, especially the Coast Guard. It really is a miracle, and we thank the Lord for returning our daughter to us.”
Denton said Friday that Davison was doing well. She had sustained minor injuries from her fall and was having some memory issues related to the accident, but her prognosis was good.
“We are just happy to have her back,” Denton said. “We want to make sure she is healthy and we are waiting for some test results, and we will go from there.
“We are just so thankful and appreciate the efforts and good wishes of everyone that helped.”