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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Missing Silver Valley Pastor found dead

Pastor Gene Jacobs  (Courtesy of the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office)
By Emma Epperly and Garrett Cabeza The Spokesman-Review

A Silver Valley pastor who was reported missing Tuesday and found dead later that day died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Pinehurst Police Department.

Real Life Ministries Silver Valley members contacted police at about 8:05 a.m. Tuesday saying they couldn’t find Gene Jacobs after he failed to show up to a 6 a.m. church meeting, police said in a news release. Church elders’ calls and texts to the pastor went unanswered.

Jacobs left his residence on foot at about 5:30 a.m., according to video footage from a nearby residence.

The Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office was called to assist in finding Jacobs, police said. Pinehurst police learned of potential threats made to Jacobs, so the search team investigated the possibility of an abduction. That was soon discounted when Jacobs’ water bottle was found on a trail he is known to often hike, according to police.

Pinehurst residents, church elders, a few law enforcement agencies that included a K-9 and a drone team searched the steep trails and hillsides but no track was established.

Shoshone County and Kootenai County search teams, as well as an airplane and helicopter, joined the search. The helicopter located Jacobs at about 6 p.m. off the trail. A recovery team responded to the location and found Jacobs dead, police said.

His body was removed from the location and turned over to the Shoshone County Coroner and a funeral home. Police said initial indication is that Jacobs died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An autopsy is scheduled.