Man Found Dead in Oregon Zoo Rhino Zone After Being Missing for Days
A Portland family is demanding answers after a man in his 60s was found dead in a construction site at Oregon Zoo after being missing for two days.
Carl Stanley Ross Sr., 62, was found dead on Monday morning inside an area of the zoo that is being made to house a black rhino from next year. Officers responded to the scene, on Southwest Canyon Road, shortly before 10 a.m., the Portland Police Bureau said in a release.
Investigators confirmed the victim was first reported missing last Saturday (August 10) and said no animals had been in the construction zone at the time of the incident. The state medical examiner is currently on the case but has not yet determined the cause of death.
The victim's relatives told KPTV that Ross went missing while attending a live concert at the zoo on Saturday evening with a friend. Security did not conduct a search at the time, they alleged. The man's body was found by a construction worker, Oregon Live reported.
Ross went to the zoo to watch a concert that was headlined by George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic. He was reported missing by his family after he did not return home.
The incident remains under investigation. It is unclear why a full search was not ordered, per normal protocol. A zoo spokesperson told KPTV the zoo is supposed to be closed if a missing person is not found within 30 minutes. For now, police said they do not suspect foul play.
Oregon Zoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"I believe, had they looked sooner, when the friend said he was missing, my brother may be alive right now," Ross's sister Perlia Bell told KPTV. "I think somewhere, the ball got dropped. Now we have a daughter without a father, a wife that can't even come talk on television because she's so distraught. And, we have a son that's in the Army [who is] flying in to bury his father."
Charlene Menefee, the victim's cousin, noted that key details are still a mystery, including how Ross ended up in the habitat. "We need to find out what really happened to him," she said.
Zoo officials told KPTV this week: "Oregon Zoo community is shocked and saddened by this news. We have limited information at this point and are not speculating as to what may have happened, but we are cooperating with Portland Police. The zoo can confirm that no animals, staff or contractors were involved, and there does not appear to have been any foul play."
Investigators have appealed for anyone with information to contact the non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333. No more information is being released at this time, Portland police noted.