Search continues for missing man
On Monday, Sonoma County law enforcement officials began their third day of searching for a man described by family members as “despondent,” who disappeared into Annadel State Park on Saturday.
The Sacramento County resident is described as a 34-year-old white male with light brown hair, blue eyes, who’s 6 foot, 6 inches tall and weighs 185 pounds. He was seen wearing a t-shirt, blue jeans, a heavy tan canvas jacket with orange and black athletic shoes. Authorities are not identifying him because of his suspected mental illness, but are working closely with the man’s family. He has not answered his cellphone or called loved ones.
The last suspected sighting came from a teenage bicyclist on Saturday afternoon, who said he saw someone matching the missing man’s description naked and chanting. “He appeared to be taking part in a ritual,” Sonoma Police Chief Bret Sackett said. Authorities have said the man is not known to be dangerous.
Sackett said the Sonoma County Sheriffs Department was first notified about the man on Saturday morning when a Lawndale Road resident reported a trespasser. Sackett said the property owner was accessing his land via a locked gate, when a truck rushed up behind him and onto the property. The man in the truck parked and took off on foot.
“He exhibited some bizarre behaviors. He said something about visiting the princess,” Sackett said of the interaction the property owner had with the man. “This property borders Annadel State Park, so the assumption was he went that way.”
Initially assuming they were just dealing with a simple case of trespassing, law enforcement had the man’s vehicle towed back to the main road. “We were hoping he’d just get in his (truck) and drive away,” Sackett said.
But, after identifying the man by his truck and contacting his family, law enforcement learned they were dealing with a missing person who might be unstable.
“His family said he appeared despondent and did suffer from mental health issues,” Sackett said. “He told his family he was going to New York.”
Instead, he headed west. His family said he had no ties to Sonoma County and did not know what drew him to this area.
After contacting the Sonoma County Search and Rescue Team, on Sunday around 140 people gathered to search the park for the missing man, which included individuals from Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda counties. The Sheriffs helicopter, Henry 1, was called to do an aerial search, but the park covers more than 5,000 acres and is very popular with the public. “Not to mention it was a beautiful day and the park was full of people,” Sackett said. “We talked to everybody we could, but no one had really seen him.”
Monday, a search party of around 40 people headed out about 9 a.m., expecting to spend all day looking for the missing man. “We’ve brought in some specialized search dogs to help,” Sackett said. “The plan is to search until dark. If we still haven’t found him, we’ll regroup then and make the next plan.”
Anyone with information about the possible location or might have seen someone matching the description is encouraged to contact the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office at 565-2650.