Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Elderly Man Who Went Missing in Rugged Terrain Near Hopland Located by Helicopter


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

On 01-30-2022 at approximately 5:43 P.M. the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center was contacted by a member of the Hopland Fire Department regarding a missing person. 

Hopland Fire Department had been contacted by the spouse of a 67 year-old male who had failed to return from a hike on their property.  

Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene and contacted the spouse and members of the Hopland Fire Department. 

Deputies learned the missing person suffered from multiple health conditions including dementia and had not been seen for approximately one hour.

Deputies, along with Hopland Fire and CalFire personnel conducted a search of the area by foot and vehicle and were initially unable to locate the missing person.  

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The Mendocino County Search and Rescue Team was also summoned to the location to assist with the search efforts.  

The California Highway Patrol was contacted and a request was made for a helicopter to further assist in an aerial search. 

A California Highway Patrol helicopter, “H-30”, based out of the Napa Air Operations Center agreed to assist and was on scene within approximately 40 minutes of being requested.  

Within approximately 10 minutes of H-30 arriving on scene, the flight crew was able to locate the missing person on a remote and rugged area of their property.  H-30 crew flight members were able to guide awaiting fire personnel to the location of the missing person.  

The missing person was exhausted and disoriented, but otherwise in good health and without injury.  The missing person was evaluated by medical personnel and reunited with his family.  

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Hopland Fire Department, CalFire, and especially the California Highway Patrol Napa Air Operations Division for their assistance in bringing this search & rescue mission to a successful conclusion.  

The Sheriff’s Office would also like to thank the Mendocino County Search & Rescue Team.  Within 55 minutes of being notified of this incident, 13 members of the volunteer team had assembled, created maps to assist with search assignments, and began responding to the property prior to being notified of the missing person being located.      

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  1. I was the terrified, hysterical spouse who reported this horrible situation. The response teams were incredible in the swift and competent planning and execution to find my husband as the temperture was dropping. Not only did they give an all out response, they were so kind. Thank you. There are no words to describe my gratitude to all that helped. The response was overwhelming.

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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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