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[Update: Found Safe] Willits Woman Known to ‘Wander Off’ Goes Missing from Remote Beach on Mendocino Coast


The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office:

Jennifer Adrianne Risch [Both pictures provided by MCSO]

On 03-26-2021 at about 9:04 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a possible missing person situation at Blue’s Beach in Westport, California (34533 North Highway 1).

Upon arrival, Deputies spoke with [Jennifer Adrianne] Risch’s friend, who had contacted the Sheriff’s Office. Deputies learned that Risch and her friend went to Blue’s Beach together. While there, Risch walked away from her friend. This was not unusual behavior as Risch suffers from Dissociation Disorder and it is common for Risch to wander off. Due to it being common for Risch to wander off, Risch’s friend did not want to report her as missing.

Risch walked away at around 6:30 PM. After about an hour, Risch’s friend began looking for her. When Risch’s friend was unable to locate her, assistance from the Sheriff’s Office was requested.

While looking for Risch in the Blue’s Beach area, Deputies learned Risch may have been seen walking east on Branscomb Road toward Laytonville. Deputies searched Branscomb Road and surrounding areas of Westport, but were unable to locate Risch.

During the morning of 03/27/2021, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Deputies contacted Risch’s friend to see if she had been located. Deputies learned Risch had not been located and initiated missing persons protocols. Deputies rechecked the Westport area and Branscomb Road to no avail.

Risch is described as being a white female adult, standing 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 135 pounds. Risch has short, buzzed-cut blonde hair and blue eyes. Risch was last seen wearing a gray zip up hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and brown hiking boots. Risch has a large tribal tattoo on her back and shoulders.

This investigation is ongoing at this time and anyone with information about Risch’s current whereabouts is urged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office by calling 707-463-4086.

UPDATE 3/30/202` 12:48 p.m.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office announced on their Facebook page Risch had been found alive and well describing her as “FOUND SAFE.”


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Playing it By Ear: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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