FORKS — Forks Mayor Bryon Monohon is among the West End residents growing more and more concerned about a man who eluded Border Patrol agents Saturday.
Benjamin Roldan Salinas was last seen jumping into the Sol Duc River during a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 101 near the east bridge at Milepost 213.
“It’s an incredibly sad thing,” Monohon said.
“It’s a very unfortunate thing. I had a long talk with the significant other the other day. She’s incredibly distraught.”
Monohon said he knows very little about how the events unfolded.
Blaine sector Border Patrol released a statement Monday saying agents responded to a traffic stop after a U.S. Forest Service officer requested a translator.
Border Patrol agents detained one subject on an immigration violation as Roldan Salinas fled.
Monohon said the person who was detained was only a friend of Roldan Salinas.
“The significant other is a legal citizen,” Monohon said.
After the Border Patrol conducted an initial search Saturday, friends of Roldan Salinas and other concerned citizens scoured the banks of the Sol Duc River from the highway bridge where he was last seen all the way to LaPush.
At least 50 West End residents and on-duty sheriff’s deputies have looked for Roldan Salinas every day.
“No new news,” said Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian King on Wednesday.
Lisa Salazar of Forks said Roldan Salinas can’t swim and is diabetic.
Monohon said this isn’t the first time someone has gone “scattering through brush in absolute fear and panic” over immigration authorities.
He said it happens about once every two months and that when it does, it’s “not safe for anybody.”
“I think this sort of interaction has become all too common out here, and it is troubling,” Monohon said.
The mayor said it is his understanding that Roldan Salinas has either lived in Forks or been based in Forks for about two years.
Monohon and Salazar said they are holding out hope that Roldan Salinas will be found alive.
“We hope it has the best possible resolution for everybody,” Monohon said.
________Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at [email protected]