PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — New details have been released about the circumstances under which the body of television actor Charles Levin was found in Southern Oregon this year.
The police report from the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety details the timeline of events, from Levin’s disappearance to the day his body was recovered, as well as the events that led up to the discovery.
Levin, known for his role on the television show “Alice” and who also acted in movies and on stage, was first reported missing by his son on July 8, 2019. He was last seen on June 27. Levin was in the process of moving out of his Grants Pass home and into a new residence in Cave Junction. He had disappeared in his orange Fiat with his dog — a pug named Boo Boo Bear.
Police received numerous tips about Levin’s whereabouts, in towns ranging from Salem to Klamath Falls, but none turned out to be the missing man they were looking for. The United States Air Force compiled a list of geographical “hot spots” where Levin’s phone had pinged from data obtained by his cellphone provider, according to the police report. Search and rescue teams were assembled and sent out to those areas.
Maria Valdez, the SAR Coordinator with the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, noted in a report to police that those areas consisted of “unnamed roads with very few markers or signs.” Without cellphone service in rural Josephine County, there were instances where even SAR teams took a wrong turn and were unable to find the hot spots they were looking for.
On Saturday, July 13, police were notified of a resident who had seen Levin’s car, stuck in a remote area in Selma off of Deer Creek Road. While trying to reach the location, authorities had to park their cars and continue on foot due to the “un-drivability of the road system.”
“[T]he road Charles’ vehicle had been discovered on was narrow, at points extremely rutted, and overgrown,” the police report reads. “Even as I write this report, I am surprised that Charles’ vehicle had to driver over 6 inch to 15 inch round trees that had fallen on the road and partially over the road.”
The resident who discovered Levin’s car told police that he was hiking in the area, looking for an old fire look-out, when he recognized the Fiat from Levin’s missing persons report. He told police that he saw Levin’s dog, which was dead inside.
SAR officers searched the area surrounding the car, “smelling the odor of decomposition,” and found the remains of a body they presumed to be Levin. Police noted signs of animal scavenging in the area in the report.
The terrain was steep and the foliage was dense. A team of rescue personnel had to use a rope system to recover the body.
An autopsy was later conducted where Medical Examiner James Olson confirmed the body’s identity as Levin’s and concluded that his cause of death was accidental. Grants Pass police have since closed their investigation.