ELSIE - The key clue was the entry in the guest book at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.

Almost a month later, two bodies were found.

The search for a missing Jesuit priest and a woman friend from California ended Sunday when searchers found their car and their bodies in a ditch off U.S. Highway 26.

The Civil Air Patrol spotted the pair's car at 2 p.m., roughly 25 miles east of Seaside, said Sheriff Todd Anderson of Tillamook County.

A Clatsop County deputy then found the bodies of David Schwartz, 52, and Cheryl Gibbs, 61. Anderson said it appeared that Schwartz and Gibbs had been traveling toward Portland when they veered off the road and rolled once or twice.

The car, a 2005 Toyota Corolla, came to a stop 20 yards from the highway in an area not visible to other motorists, said Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin of Clatsop County.

Tom Mulligan, Schwartz's brother-in-law, said that the family felt relief. "We wanted some kind of resolution to this," he said. "And our prayers were answered."

The search focused on the coast after it was learned that the pair had signed a guest book at the Tillamook Cheese Factory June 8, the last day the pair were seen - by a Wheeler cafe owner who reported they had asked for directions.

Multiple rescue teams had been scouring back county roads by foot and from the air since Friday afternoon.

Police believe Schwartz, a Jesuit priest from Garden Grove, Calif., and Gibbs, a county employee from Union City, Calif., left their hotel room at the Best Value Inn and Suites-Fortniter in Portland on the morning of June 8.

The two were expected to travel to several other locations on their way back to California, but never appeared to return to the hotel.

Officials initially had little clue where the two had gone. The pair left most of their possessions in the hotel, leading officials to believe the pair had gone on a day trip.


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