Members of a citizens’ search party gather Tuesday during a search for Benjamin Roldan Salinas

Still no sign of missing Forks man last seen jumping in river

FORKS — The search continued Tuesday for a Forks man who eluded Border Patrol agents during a Saturday traffic stop on U.S. Highway 101.

Benjamin Roldan Salinas was last seen jumping into the Sol Duc River near Milepost 214 between Sappho and Lake Crescent.

After an initial search by the Border Patrol, concerned citizens mounted their own search from the east Sol Duc bridge all the way to LaPush.

“Everybody resumed searching today,” said Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brian King on Tuesday.

“I just spoke with some of the group leaders; they’ve found nothing.”

About 50 people were looking for Roldan Salinas on Tuesday.

“We need to maintain hope,” said Lisa Salazar, who represents Forks Human Rights Group, a coalition of West End citizens who work to document an increased Border Patrol presence on the Olympic Peninsula.

One West End resident launched a boat to comb the Sol Duc River, King said.

King said the river flows were down Tuesday and the water was more clear than it had been on the first three days of the search, making it easier to look for clues.

On-duty sheriff’s deputies are assisting with the search.

However, the Sheriff’s Office will not mobilize its volunteer search-and-rescue teams because the missing man is considered a fugitive, Undersheriff Ron Peregrin said Monday.

The Border Patrol released a statement Monday confirming that the missing man fled from the traffic stop, which was initiated by a U.S. Forest Service officer who requested translation assistance for two people.

One person was taken into custody for an immigration violation while the other fled.

Salinas is reportedly a diabetic who doesn’t have his medication and doesn’t know how to swim.

“The Forks Human Rights Group wishes to extend our support and prayers to the family of Benjamin,” said the group in a statement.

“The search continues tonight and tomorrow. Please maintain your faith and hope at this painful time.”

The group documents Border Patrol actions on the West End. Since 2006, when four agents patrolled Clallam and Jefferson counties, the number of agents has grown to 25.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-417-3537 or at [email protected]

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