UPDATE: On Monday, November 14, Miles’s mother, Laura, posted an update on her son’s disappearance. The Facebook post states that “family and a few volunteers found Miles today.” It adds that “his spirit is no longer with us.”
“We are broken,” Laura wrote. “I am unable to imagine a life without him.”
According to the post, Miles’s death is “still an active police investigation” and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Salem, Oregon, is investigating Miles’s case.
There is no additional information at this time.
“People say it’s a mother’s worst nightmare,” Laura Stanton said tearfully. “That’s still an understatement."
Laura’s son, 21-year-old Miles Stanton, has been missing for 19 days. He had only been living in Oregon for 18 days when he vanished. “He’s been missing as long as he’s been living here,” Laura told Dateline.
Laura, who lives in Utah, flew to Oregon on October 24, 2022, immediately after she found out her son was missing. “I’ve been here ever since,” she said.
Laura told Dateline she raised her three boys in San Diego. “Miles is in the middle,” Laura said. “They’re pretty close.” Laura’s husband, their father, died in 2005.
Laura said that despite losing his father at a young age, Miles enjoyed growing up in San Diego. “He likes to skateboard and surf,” Laura said. “He’s really goofy and fun.”
Laura married again in 2018. A year later, Miles graduated from high school and began college at BYU-Hawaii. Laura said that when the pandemic hit in 2020, the students were sent home. “He stayed in San Diego and worked with his uncle for a few months,” Laura said. “In the fall, he moved to Utah with me.”
Laura told Dateline that in July 2022, Miles moved back to San Diego from Utah for work. “He moved back, worked at the job for a couple of months, and then he didn’t like the job,” Laura said. “He quit the job and said he was gonna move -- he was thinking about moving to Oregon.”
Laura told Dateline her son said that he “always wanted live there” and was really excited to move. “He’s like, ‘I don’t have a job here now, so, like, I don’t really see any reason not to go,’” Laura recalled her son telling her.
In October 2022, Miles made the move. Laura said he moved in with an old childhood friend, RJ White who lives in the Tualatin area about 20 minutes southwest of Portland.
RJ told Dateline he met Miles when they were just kids. “There was this program before we went to middle school,” RJ said. “We met there, but I would say we didn’t really become friends until, like, high school.”
RJ told Dateline he moved to Oregon from San Diego in October 2021, so he’d been there about a year when Miles joined him. “He just said he ‘always wanted to live in Portland,’” RJ said. “He got here on October 2nd.”
RJ told Dateline he last saw Miles on the morning of October 20. “After the first night, I didn’t really think that much of it,” RJ said. “I figured he had some reason—maybe he met a girl or something.”
After the second night, RJ said he thought it was “a little weird” Miles had yet to return home. By October 24, RJ said he knew something was wrong. He decided to reach out to Miles’s mother.
Miles’s mother, Laura, said she initially ignored the call from the unknown number. “Then I got a text that said, like, ‘Is this Miles’s mom?’” Laura told Dateline she was alarmed and called the number back. “[RJ] was like, ‘I’m just calling to see if you heard from Miles because I haven’t seen or heard from him in four days.’”
Laura told Dateline she hung up the phone with RJ and immediately started calling family and friends. “I called everybody and, like, nobody heard from him since the 19th.”
Laura said she spoke with Miles on the phone that Tuesday, October 18. On Wednesday, October 19, he was responding to texts in a group chat and everything seemed normal. “Thursday is the day he went missing,” Laura said.
Miles had recently started working at FedEx in Portland, so Laura said she called them, too. “He’d been working there for two weeks,” Laura said. “The last day he worked was the 20th.”
According to Laura, that was also the last day Miles was spotted. Laura told Dateline security footage captured her son at a 76 gas station in Aurora, Oregon around 3:30 p.m. on October 20. Aurora is about 15 minutes south of Tualatin. “That’s the last footage we have of him,” Laura said.
Laura told Dateline she was also able to gain access to Miles’s bank and cellphone records. “His credit card was last used on the 20th,” Laura said, adding that his phone also last pinged on October 20. “It was in the Aurora - Woodburn area.”
The day Laura learned Miles was missing, she flew to Oregon. That same day, she reported her son missing.
The Tualatin Police Department is investigating Miles’s disappearance. Community Service Sergeant Mark Waddell confirmed to Dateline in an email that Miles was last seen at the 76 gas station in Aurora, Oregon by the gas station attendant. He said, “based on the phone data the phone’s last known location is along Hwy 211 near the Pudding River.”
“The Tualatin Police Department has an open missing person case on Mr. Stanton,” Waddell said. “Mr. Stanton and the vehicle he is believed to be driving have both been flagged.”
According to Sgt. Waddell, there is no evidence of foul play at this time.
But Laura told Dateline her son would never just take off. “[He’s] never done anything like this,” Laura said. “No one thinks this is normal behavior.”
What Laura said is normal, is Miles’s newfound joy for fishing. She told Dateline he might have been looking into some new spots to explore and got lost. “That’s kind of a theory,” Laura said. “He’s pretty new to the area.”
But in truth, Laura said she has no idea what happened to her son, though she is hoping for the best. “I’m not even sleeping,” Laura told Dateline. “I’m having these theory things going in my head. Like, it’s constant and I hope that it’s the ones that—where he ends up safe.”
Miles’s family and friends flew in from around the country to join the search in Oregon. “Like 20 people have dropped their whole life,” Laura said. “His friends from Utah drove overnight.”
Laura said they have been searching the whole state looking for Miles. “We’ve heavily concentrated on the downtown areas of Portland,” Laura said. But still, no sign of Miles.
Miles is 5’10” tall, weighs 165 lbs., and has brown hair. He was last seen wearing a red hoodie, blue jeans, black sneakers, and a black beanie. He also has two tattoos, one above each knee. One of them is a bison. Miles’s car is also missing. He was last seen driving a black 1997 Honda CR-V with Utah license plate number U203HR that has skateboard and anime stickers on it.
Anyone with information regarding Miles’s whereabouts is asked to call the Tualatin Police Department at 503-629-0111.