Search teams still seek missing man
By nightfall on Monday, myriad search teams had still not located a man described by family members as “despondent,” who disappeared into Annadel State Park on Saturday. The Sonoma County Sheriffs Office plans to launch its fourth day of searching at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
“I think the family has mustered up a large group to help us,” said Sonoma Police Chief Bret Sackett, who explained that they will join more than 40 search-and-rescue experts from Sonoma, Marin, Alameda and Contra Costa counties. “Hopefully, we’ll have a good outcome. Each day we get more and more concerned.”
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. On Saturday, 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 since he disappeared.
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 in the park. “He appeared to be taking part in a ritual,” Sackett said. Authorities have said the man is not known to be dangerous.
Sackett said the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office 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 had a simple case of trespassing, law enforcement towed the man’s vehicle 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 the missing man has 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. 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., but again yielded no results. “We’ve brought in some specialized search dogs to help,” Sackett said.
Anyone with information or who might have seen someone matching this description is encouraged to contact the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office at 565-2650.