December 6, 2006 12:26 PM PST

James Kim found

James Kim's body has been found, according to local authorities.

"At 12:03 hours, the body of James Kim was located at the bottom of Big Windy Creek," Oregon State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said at a press conference.

Hastings offered no details about the condition of the body. The body is being transported to an undisclosed location, he said.

A letter described as a "father's plea to his son" was to be dropped along the route where the search for Kim continues, authorities said earlier Wednesday.

The note was to be included in 18 care packages strategically dropped in the remote southwestern Oregon wilderness where refocused searches for Kim had been going on around the clock since his wife and two young daughters were found alive next to the family's stranded car Monday.

Other items in the packages included a bright orange sweatshirt, sweat pants, a large wool blanket, socks, gloves, waterproof bib overalls, three half-hour flares, a flashlight, a hand-warmer and MRE (meal ready to eat) packets, Hastings said at another press conference earlier Wednesday. Hastings did not reveal the exact contents of the family's note. The packages were numbered, and searchers were to document each one as it was found.

After being rescued in good condition, Kim's 30-year-old wife, Kati, and daughters Penelope (4 years) and Sabine (7 months) had been reunited with family members. Kati Kim suffered frostbite on two toes, but will not lose those toes, according to a close family friend. James Kim, 35, left the family car Saturday morning to search for help.

Roughly 100 people were involved in Wednesday's continued search efforts, some of whom planned to spend Wednesday night in the canyon if needed. There were about 25 specialists on the ground, according to Hastings. Two helicopters were available for the search, but fog in the area hampered pilots' ability to put them in the air. Officials hoped the fog would clear by noon.

Time is a critical factor, Mike Winters of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office noted earlier Wednesday, saying that the weather is expected to take a turn for the worse in the coming days.

Click for map

The rescue effort had been slowgoing, according to Winters. The terrain in the area, a narrow canyon with a drainage creek at the bottom, was slick, densely forested and had some extremely steep embankments. One searcher from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office was driving an all-terrain vehicle Tuesday when he lost control and went down a 100-foot drop. He was airlifted out and treated for a shoulder injury.

Local cell phone provider Edge Wireless was near completion of the installment of a temporary cell tower and donated 30 mobile phones to the search effort. "This is going to provide critical communications" for the people working in the canyon, according to Hastings.

Late afternoon on Tuesday, searchers found various items left by Kim, including two gray long-sleeve shirts, one red T-shirt, one wool sock, a pair of gray pants and the remains of an Oregon map. Officials believe Kim may have left them as markers or indicators of his path. He was known to have left the family's car at 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, December 2, with two pairs of pants, tennis shoes and a heavy jacket. He did not return at the predetermined time of 1 p.m.

James' wife, Kati, told authorities she wanted to clarify information in some published reports about how they ended up on the treacherous stretch. The family had intended to head west on Highway 42 but missed the turnoff, Hastings said citing Kati. As they approached Grants Pass, they consulted an Oregon state map and decided to take a direct route to their destination of Gold Beach.

Click here to Play

Video: Views from the Kim search
Images from the mountains near Grants Pass, Ore., where the hunt continues for CNET editor James Kim.

That road turned out to be Bear Camp Road, a remote logging road that is often impassable during winter. When they had trouble with the road, they intentionally stopped in what they thought was a visible area.

James Kim, Kati, Penelope and Sabine left their home in San Francisco two weeks ago on a Thanksgiving road trip to the Pacific Northwest. They had been last seen on the Saturday after the holiday in Portland and later at a Denny's restaurant in Roseburg, according to a San Francisco Police Department missing persons report.

The family was expected to return to San Francisco on November 27. When both James and Kati failed to show up for appointments on November 28, co-workers began to worry for their safety. The Kims were known for keeping in touch daily with their friends and co-workers, either by phone or e-mail.

At CNET, Kim was a senior editor covering digital audio. He also co-hosted a weekly video podcast for the Crave gadget blog. He had been writing a book on Microsoft's Zune MP3 player. Formerly, he was an on-air personality on the now-defunct cable television network TechTV.

James Kim
James Kim

He and his wife owned two stores in San Francisco--Doe, a clothing store in the city's Lower Haight area, and the Church Street Apothecary in the Noe Valley neighborhood, where they lived.

Throughout the Kims' ordeal, messages of support and concern have continued to pour in by the hundreds to CNET, as well as to a Web site set up by family and friends.

"Every five minutes (when I know I should be working), I keep checking the Internet hoping to hear good news," one comment on the site reads. "I'm so relieved 3/4 of the family was found and am praying that we find James soon."

On Tuesday, the Kim family issued a statement expressing gratitude for the tremendous outpouring of love and many offers of assistance to find the family.

"We are overjoyed that Kati, Penelope, and Sabine are safe and sound, largely due to James Kim's remarkable efforts to ensure the safety of his family in this desperate situation, as well as Kati's incredible resourcefulness, including breast-feeding both children during their nine-day ordeal," the statement said.

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