Family continues search for missing man
JASON KYLES has been missing in or around Annadel State Park since Feb. 2.
More than a week after Jason Kyles, 34, disappeared into Annadel State Park, his family continues to search for him even after the Sonoma County Sheriffs Office officially called off its search last Thursday. The man was described as “despondent” when he left his Sacramento-area home on Feb. 1, the day before his vehicle was found abandoned on private property just outside of Annadel.
“Jason is my husband and he is just wonderful. He is in a bad place mentally and made a wrong choice. I am never going to give up looking for him. I am praying so hard we find him tomorrow,” his wife, Rebecca Kyles, wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday.
Through tears, she told the Index-Tribune on Monday that, “The fact that they haven’t found him, I have to draw hope from that.” She thinks he may be purposefully hiding from search-and-rescue teams, perhaps because he’s scared. She answered questions about his mental state in a Feb. 7 Facebook post that stated, “Jason is not depressed, he is manic … Jason is an amazing person and is just having a really hard time right now.”
Rosemary Milbrath, executive director of the Sonoma County National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), said her office has been working closely with the family and law enforcement in the search for Kyles. NAMI provided the family with office space to arrange searches last weekend, as well as offering counselors to support the family.
“It’s the worst thing a family can go through, I think,” Milbrath said. “This happens, it’s not unusual for people to disappear when they’re having a mental break.”
Rebecca Kyles told the Sacramento Bee that when she left for work on Feb. 1, her husband was still at home. Later that night when she returned to their home in Arden Arcade, a suburb of Sacramento, she found an unusual note from him stating that he planned to travel to New York.
The next morning, she received a call from the Sonoma County Sheriffs Office that his vehicle had been found on residential property on Lawndale Road, just outside of Annadel State Park.
Bret Sackett, chief of the Sonoma Police Department, said Jason Kyles followed the homeowner onto private land the morning of Feb. 2. When he tried to address Jason Kyles, Kyles was incoherent. “He said something about visiting the princess,” Sackett told the Index-Tribune last week.
The landowner said Jason Kyles then took off on foot towards Annadel, where hours later a teenage bicyclist said he saw a man matching Kyles’ description nude and chanting in the park. Hundreds of search and rescue teams from across the Bay Area were dispatched for six days to look for the missing man. During the official search, volunteers uncovered the clothes Kyles was believed to have been wearing as well as foot and handprints thought to belong to him. Several search dog teams hit on his scent at various points in the park, but the man could not be found.
Search officials followed up on reports of a naked man seen running along Lakeville Highway on Feb. 3, only to learn it was not Jason Kyles.
After law enforcement suspended its search on Thursday, his family began organizing its own volunteer search teams. They went door-to-door in Oakmont, handing out fliers on Friday. Working with the Annadel Mountain Biking Group, the family held two “Storm the Park” searches over the weekend, which didn’t yield any results.
Rebecca Kyles said she went home on Monday to search her husband’s possessions for any sign of where he might have gone, but intends to be back in Sonoma County on Tuesday or Wednesday to continue searching, and may plan another volunteer search effort for this Saturday, Feb. 16, if he is still missing at that point.
“We desperately need more people out there looking for him,” Rebecca Kyles said. “Everyone out there has been so wonderful and supportive.”
She’s also asking homeowners whose properties are near Annadel to check their garages and homes to see if anything, particularly clothing, is missing. “He would need to get clothes eventually,” she said. “If a pair of jean’s is missing from the line, that could be him.”
Jason Kyles, 34, is 6 feet 6 inches tall; weighs 185 pounds and has light, sandy hair. Anyone with information should contact the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office at 565-2650.
The family is also collecting tips at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-320-5431.