I started Savagewatch twenty years ago as a website about solving cold cases in Connecticut. I had no experience of having anyone I know go missing or be a victim of a serious unsolved crime at the time. In the years since, I would learn of a missing nephew (Harmon Shea) of a family friend who went missing. An unidentified man found in a river in Massachusetts (I looked at a photo of his tattoo when he was an unidentified deceased person) but did not realize that I had met the person in question several times prior to his drowning. I had no idea that the man was missing until good police work revealed who he was.
But now, there is an active missing person case in Oregon of a person who I have known since he was a young child. His parents and my parents are friends. His older brother I still talk to and he currently works in Law Enforcement But since February of 2020, no one has seen 44 year old Dave Merkelson.
Dave had struggled at times during his life with mental health issues . He moved to Israel and wandered the desert there only to be taken in by members of a Bedouin Tribe. Dave would soon find purpose out in Israel by joining the military. After serving his time which did involve being in armed combat, he took up martial arts. He competed professionally in a few matches as well as partaking in amateur tournaments in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Dave would get married and open up his own Mixed MArtial Arts school (his name is also spelled Markleson). Years later, looking for other opportunities, he would move to the United States. Things would not progress for him there as job opportunities didn’t pan out and he would also get divorced.
Life would eventually find him in a motel in Beaverton, Oregon. Struggling with anxiety, he would leave his car behind with his wallet, phone and personal identification inside. It is possible that Dave could be living off the grid. He had done that before while in Israel and has the life skills to do that which he learned in the Israeli Military.
Dave if you read this, please contact your parents or brother and let them know where you are. You can also contact this website.
If you have any information about the whereabouts of Dave Merkelson contact the Beaverton Police Department at (503) 526-2260.
Dave competing in an MMA Fight https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkXpZriUoC0&list=LL&index=3&t=168s
Dave at his wedding with his wife dancing to “Time of My LIfe” hit song