Wednesday, December 6, 2023

[UPDATE] Willits Man Missing Since Friday Leaving Behind Wallet, Keys, and Phone


Jim Whetstone, a 69-year-old Willits man, has been missing since Friday, October 9, 2020. His daughter Sophia Martinez said Whetstone “left his home about 9 am Friday while the rest of the family was asleep.” 

Martinez said her father’s disappearance is “totally out of character for him.” She added he left his phone, wallet, and key, and since Friday morning, the phone has not received any unknown phone calls or messages. 

On Friday morning, Martinez said, “everyone was asleep, but my grandma saw him standing at the window looking out as if he may have been waiting for someone.”

Addressing Whetstone’s mental state as of late, Martinez said he displayed “no signs of depression” and he “had plans to go to my brother’s kids as a birthday party on Saturday.  Martinez did state Whetstone has a registered firearm that is still locked in his safe giving family “no reason to believe it’s suicide.”

Martinez said her father is a long time Willits resident graduating from Willits High in 1969. He later worked as a welder up on Cobb Mountain, and then the family moved to Ukiah, opening up the Oak Factory Outlet.

Martinez said Whetstone is 5’10”, weighs approximately 200 lbs, has White/Gray hair, and blue eyes. She added he usually wears sweatpants and a colored pocket t-shirt, but “no one saw him that morning, so we don’t know.”

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Martinez expressed deep concern for her father’s disappearance: “My dad is a wonderful man that has helped many people. We want him home so bad.”

Martinez said Whetstone’s disappearance has been reported to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. She described deputies doing a cursory search of the residence. As of the time of publication, MCSO has not returned our calls requesting comment. 

Anyone who knows of Whetstone’s whereabouts is encouraged to come forward. Contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office at (707)463-4411 if you have any information. 

UPDATE 10/12/2020 12:33 p.m.

The following statement was issued on the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page regarding the search for Whetstone:

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating the reported disappearance of James Andrew Whetstone (see attached photograph).He was last seen on 10-09-20 @ 8:30 AM at the family residence located in the 1500 block of Valley Road in Willits, California.

He is believed to have either walked away or received a ride from someone in a vehicle, although that is not his usual behavior.He is described as a 69 year-old male, standing 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 250 pounds. He has blue eyes and shoulder length gray hair that he usually wears in a ponytail.

He was last seen wearing a gray jacket, blue jeans and black boots. He is reportedly in good physical health for his age.

Anyone with information about James Andrew Whetstone’s current whereabouts is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office by calling 707-463-4086.MCSO Case# 2020-25082

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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