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Dog, water searches don’t turn up missing Spearfish man

January 30, 2018

DEADWOOD — While the search for a missing Spearfish man has turned to a recovery effort, attempts to locate the whereabouts of 28-year-old Christopher Oien have been unsuccessful.

Deadwood Police Chief Kelly Fuller said two cadaver dog teams searched a very large area in the vicinity of Burnham Hill for around six hours Wednesday and came up with negative results. Same thing for the box culvert/swift water rescue search conducted the next day.

“As far as searching, we’ve pretty much exhausted that effort unless we get more information that leads us in a new direction,” Fuller said Monday. “We’re still following up with certain aspects of the case and combing through phone records to see if we can find any new information.”

The last time Oien was seen on video in Deadwood was Jan. 15 around 1:44 a.m., after he gathered his belongings from the hotel he checked into for a Sunday stay-over, and, instead, left.

Oien was later captured on a Deadwood Welcome Center parking lot camera going through the parking lot on the opposite side of the street from the former Four Aces and making his way up Volin Street, up toward Williams Street.

Although Oien was exhibiting bizarre behavior on tape and appears to be being pursued, police have not been able to substantiate foul play.

Fuller said that prior to Oien’s abrupt early morning departure from the Bullock Hotel, Deadwood Police received a 1:30 a.m. call in reference to Oien.

“At that point, he had gathered his possessions and left,” Fuller said.

Oien’s mother, Hope Oien, of Gillette, Wyo., said this type of behavior — for her son to go missing, is very unusual, as Christopher loves to work.

Oien was last seen wearing a lightweight black and blue jacket with a hoodie underneath, baseball cap, and jeans. He is 6 feet tall, weighs 155 pounds, and has strawberry blond hair and blue eyes.

Information continues to actively be gathered on the case, and those having any information that would help in the search are asked to contact law enforcement.

The Deadwood Police Department can be reached at 578-2623 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office is available for contact any time by calling 578-2230.

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