Thursday, December 7, 2023

Mentally-Compromised Man Last Seen in Mendocino County; Mother Seeks Public’s Help


27-year-old Silas Callahan Dunn has had mental illness for many years, and since late August has adopted a transient lifestyle in Northern California, according to his mother, Christine Dunn. He has inhabited mental hospitals, homeless shelters, and encampments ranging from Dunsmuir, Eureka, Garberville, Fort Bragg, Boonville, and was most recently reported to be in Willits. 

In mid-October, Dunn said her son was admitted into Restpadd, a Red Bluff Psychiatric Hospital, after being found by nearby tribal police and being characterized as “gravely disabled.” Dunn said a social worker at Restpadd told her that Silas was still “unstable” when discharged and in need of further medical care.

After being held for 17 days, he was transported to Eureka, where he left on his own during a transfer. Dunn was concerned Silas was unmedicated, wandering the streets, and living amongst the homeless population.

His mother is anxious about her son’s well-being and safety and calls on the community for help. However, efforts to contact him are complicated by privacy laws that police must follow. 

Fort Bragg Police Department’s Sergeant Jonathan McLaughlin confirmed officers interacted with Silas Dunn on the afternoon of November 13, 2020. Sergeant McLaughlin said the Mendocino Coast Hospitality Center contacted FBPD regarding locating a missing person, and officers responded. In their interactions with Silas, responding officers determined Dunn was able to make competent decisions and was not a danger to himself or others. 

Silas was allowed to continue on his way and he was removed from the missing person list.

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Sergeant McLaughlin said he recognized the limited capacity law enforcement has when navigating individuals with mental illness and supported further collaboration between law enforcement, social workers, and mental illness professionals.

A Willits resident told us they sighted Silas Dunn on Saturday, November 14, at approximately 1:00 p.m outside of the Mariposa Market. According to the Willits resident, Silas was sitting outside of the market drinking coffee, and she immediately recognized him from news reports. After a few minutes, Silas stood up, grabbed his two bags, and started walking north. The Willits resident reported Silas was wearing a black hoodie and wearing a red backpack.

Dunn tells us that since a missing poster for her son began to circulate on social media, she has had dozens of tips regarding his current whereabouts. One tipster said Silas could be located in Garberville, and Dunn said she spent two days in Garberville looking for her son to no avail.

Silas Callahan Dunn is 27-years-old, approximately 5′ 9”, and 250 lbs. He has blue eyes, brown, curly hair, and is known to have a goatee/beard, and generally unshaven. He has a small scar above his left eye. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie, and red backpack.. He also goes by the name “Forrest.” 

Complicated by the effects of Silas’s mental illness, Dunn’s attempts to contact and care for her son are met with paranoia and sometimes hostility. Ultimately, Dunn wants to ensure her son’s safety and well-being.
If you see Silas Callahan Dunn, his mother, Christine Dunn, asks you to consider emailing her at christydunn@outlook.com but he is not considered missing, and law enforcement is not involved in looking for him at this time.

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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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