Search for Missing Alzheimer's Man

February 11, 2013
Lake Elsinore Area

Written by Glenn Henderson

We were called out on Monday February 11 about 1 PM. Paul Caraher and I were the only ones able to respond. When we arrived to base camp we learned that we were searching for a missing 63 year old man with Alzheimer's. He had walked away from his home last Thursday February 7 around 5:30 PM. He was a frequent hiker in the area so Paul and I went to his home to see if we could get lucky and find a footprint that we could use. It had rained pretty hard on Friday so we were hoping to find something protected but no luck. We went back to base and started a search with the Riverside Search Dog teams, in the area that he used to frequent. When it got dark the search was halted until morning since it had been missing for 4 days now.

Tuesday morning February 12 was bright and sunny. Gwenda Yates, Paul Caraher, Craig Wills, Rob May, Lew Kingman, Roger May, and I were available to search. We searched all day to no avail. During the day a citizen called to say that he had been seen on Sunday about 6 miles away from the search area. Some search teams were pulled from their assignments and sent to the sighting area to do a quick area search. Again nothing!

Wednesday morning February 13 was again bright, sunny and warmer. We now concentrated in the new area and away from the original search area. Some of the area was easy to cover as it was very open with a few trees but other areas was extremely steep and brush covered. Desert Search and Rescue (DSAR) joined us in the afternoon so I covered an assignment with them. At the end of the day no clues or new sightings occurred so with no idea of which way to go the search was called off.

Our subject was found two days later, Friday morning, seven days after he was reported missing, by three horseback riders in a swampy area not too far from the initial search area. Our sincere condolences go out to the family. We always want a good ending to our searches and we will always do the "what if's" for a long time.

RMRU team members present: Paul Caraher, Lew Kingman, Rob May, Roger May, Craig Wills, and Gwenda Yates.