Newhalem, WA – The Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a missing 7-year old child around 7:30 p.m. on May 25th, 2019 at the Lower Goodell Group Campground located at 67840 State Route 20 near Newhalem. The Lower Goodell Group Campground is part of the North Cascades National Park.
The missing girl has been identified as 7-year old Gwynn Dilstrom. She was last seen wearing a black long-sleeve shirt with a cat picture on it and purple leggings. She is described as being 4 feet tall and weighing about 60 pounds with blonde hair.
Missing Person Poster
Denise Shultz of the National Park Service said the girl was playing at the Lower Goodell Group Campground when she went missing and officials do not suspect foul play at this time. The Campsite borders Goodell Creek, a swift running creek that empties into the Skagit River.
Whatcom County Search and Rescue deputies and numerous Search and Rescue volunteers are at the scene assisting the National Park Service with Search and Rescue Efforts.
The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 60000 block of State Route 20 at 9:55 a.m. for a possible sighting of the missing girl, but the sighting turned out to be false.
Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo, wrote in a Facebook post ” A 7 year old was reported missing from North Cascades National Park near Newhalem at 7:30 last night. All Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue deputies and a number of Search and Rescue volunteers are on scene helping the Park Service coordinate and perform the search. Prayers are needed for her safe return to her family.”
According to Recreation.gov, Lower Goodell Group Campground is a convenient site on the banks of Goodell Creek in North Cascades National Park Service Complex. The facility has a picnic shelter and pit toilet for visitor’s convenience. The campground has two group sites, which can each comfortably fit 12 to 20 people each; the capacity is 50 per site.
The site lies among lush ancient forests of western redcedar, western hemlock and Douglas-fir trees. The creek’s headwaters begin in the surrounding mountains, pick up cold, clean glacial meltwater along the way and eventually empty into the Skagit River. The creek provides a sampling of the colorful crystalline rocks of the North Cascade Core, which formed deep underground and are now revealed in the rugged terrain of the North Cascade Range.
Nature abounds in the Goodell Gorge, where visitors can enjoy exploring the scenery, viewing wildlife and birding. Black bears inhabit the area, so caution must be taken while hiking, picnicking or camping. Campers can access hiking trails from within the facility. The creek and nearby Skagit River offer fishing for trout, salmon and steelhead. There is no boating or swimming at the site.