Rescuers Frantically Searching for Missing College Student Who Slipped Off Cliff; Family Needs Prayers

August 17, 2018

Search and rescuers are quickly trying to find a missing college student who fell off a cliff into a waterfall. Officials say they are having a very difficult time finding him due to the location where the incident took place.

At this time, we are asking our readers to pray for the search and rescue team as they navigate treacherous elements in finding this young man. Also, please pray for the young man's family as they are going through a rollercoaster of emotions.

“There are several factors at play that make this search problematic, such as the steepness of the terrain, the length of the fall and the fact that [he] possibly landed in the first pool beneath the falls,” said Wayne Stinson, the emergency management coordinator for Douglas County, Oregon.


“If he landed in the falls, there is a possibility he was washed down to the second pool or even into the North Umpqua River,” Stinson said.

Sadly, due to the fall and dangerous elements, officials are lead to believe that the young man is dead. The body has not been found.

What Happened

Brian Lewinstein was standing at the edge of a 113-foot cliff after crossing a safety fence at Toketee Falls in Douglas County, Oregon, on Sunday, August 12.

The 23-year-old UC Berkeley law student crossed the fence in an attempt to snap a picture. Sadly, he fell off the cliff into the dangerous waters below.


The waterfall feeds into the North Umpqua River which is 58 miles east of Roseburg. The waterfall cascades 28 feet into a small pool and then plunges another 85 feet into a larger pool. Officials believe Lewinstein fell into the first pool which may have carried him into the second fall.

Over the past five days, researchers have not been able to search the pools due to the fast-moving waters and dangerous conditions. However, the search and rescue teams have searched "all possible ground beneath the falls" where the young man could have possibly been able to climb out of.


“A deputy will continue to check the bodies of water where Mr. Lewinstein may be located,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Brad O'Dell.

“We are working closely with the Lewinstein family and will keep them apprised of our progress. Our hearts go out to them," he continued.


On Thursday, August 16, Lewinstein's girlfriend, Victoria Nauman, shared a tribute video of their last few days together. The couple was very adventures and enjoyed their times together hiking, swimming, camping, and much more.

Lewinstein worked as an intern in the juvenile defense at the East Bay Community Law Center. He worked with juvenile offenders. He was apart of the group called Equal Justice America, and Lewinstein wrote in his cover letter to the EJA saying that he was inspired to become a lawyer after he tutored with a fourth grader named Ryan.


“I started law school with the goal of confronting systemic barriers... so that young people like Ryan and his peers could grow up in a more just, equitable society,” Lewinstein wrote.


Will you please keep Lewinstein's family in your prayers? May God provide a miracle for the search and rescue team in finding Lewinstein alive.