Janette Caron's body washes ashore at TokelandOCEAN PARK, Wash. - The body of one of the missing clammers has been recovered, but the five-day search has been suspended for her companion who vanished on the northern tip of the Long Beach Peninsula.
The body of Janette Caron, 54, of Castle Rock, was recovered Friday on the shore near Tokeland, 10 miles northwest of Leadbetter Point across the mouth of Willapa Bay.
She and Gene LaFever, 57, were reported missing Tuesday.
The Pacific County Sheriff's Office said Saturday that it has "exhausted all search efforts and is suspending the active search at this point." Crews will resume looking if new information is received.
The two were last seen the afternoon of Jan. 19 as they headed out to the coast to dig for razor clams. Their car was found Tuesday afternoon, stuck in the sand near Leadbetter Point.
The U.S. Coast Guard and volunteers from Pacific, Grays Harbor, Lewis and Thurston counties joined the search effort. Teams spent Saturday along the shorelines of Willapa Bay, using a 28-foot boat supplied by the Washington Department of Fish and Game.
Relatives said the two were experienced clam diggers. A Pacific County official suggested they could have been caught out on a sandbar and overtaken by the tide, perhaps before dawn Tuesday.
Caron's sister-in-law, Eileen George of Longview, saw Caron's Toyota truck after it was towed to Ocean Park. Items inside were plastered to the windshield, as if it had been swamped by the incoming tide, she said.
"Janette locked her purse in her car, and they had clam guns and lanterns with them, all their equipment, their hip and chest waders," George said.
Caron's daughter-in-law Kristina Caron of Kelso described LaFever as "a very gentle man" who doted on his 14-year-old granddaughter, Olivia.
He and Caron met more than a decade ago when they both worked at Longview Aluminum, she said.
Janette Caron was the only woman machinist at Longview Aluminum, but lost her job there when the plant closed in 2001. When she was unable to find comparable work or training, she went to work for her brother at the Cathlamet Market.
Caron, who lived in the Longview area for more than 20 years, had a 30-acre farm with cows and horses.
She was survived by three grown children, Wade Caron of Kelso, Hollie Williams of Castle Rock and Kellie Caron of Rainier, and three grandchildren.