TNSAR search Jul/6/02
TNSAR search Jul/6/02

Warren--Lost from Cedar Flats

At about 9:00 AM on Saturday, July 6th, 64 year old Warren walked away from his house in Cedar Flat, and did not return. It was a beautiful sunny day, highs about 80, with little wind. Warren is in excellent physical condition and has been hiking the trails above their house for many years, but he suffers from dementia, and is increasingly disoriented. The sheriffs have evidently responded to their residence on several occasions in the past.

At 2:30 PM we were paged by Placer County Dispatch. Joe Pace called in and became the coordinator. Kelli Twomey and Joe called out the team to stage at Lardin and Nightingale in Cedar Flat at 3:30 PM. Members were to respond on mountain bikes in order to run the numerous trails in the area in the minimum time.

Member Jeff Rieger was on his way out the door to go for a mountain bike ride in this very area when he received the call. He grabbed his radio and immediately began riding up to the Tahoe Rim Trail and Fiberboard Freeway area. As the rest of the team assembled, and the Com Van arrived at the command post, Jeff provided updates as he interviewed people on the trail who reported seeing Warren at different times during the day. Jeff said it was like a treasure hunt, he was given a clue, he would go there and find another witness with the next clue, and so on. Clearly Warren had left an impression on everyone who had seen him that day.

As team members rode the trails from Cedar Flat North and East, Jeff received a further report that Warren had been sighted North East of Hwy 267, on the Tahoe Rim Trail, still continuing north. Team members were driven to near the top of Martis Peak and into Kings Beach where they then began riding to cut off Warren. Jeff and Dan Ingalls (on a motorcycle) continued East on the trails from 267.

At about 4:45 PM Dan found Warren on the Tahoe Rim Trail about one mile South East of Martis Peak, still moving North East. They were 6 miles as the crow flies from the point last seen, but probably more like 12 to 15 trail miles. Warren was in good condition, but dehydrated. He was still convinced that he needed to continue north east, and Dan had to keep a hand on him to keep him from walking off. Jim Rienstra rode down from Martis Peak and met up with Dan and Warren to assist in the evacuation.

Placer County helicopter Eagle 1 had arrived on the scene before Warren was found. They set down at a landing zone above Warren. Jim, Dan, and Warren then hiked up to the chopper where Warren was flown out to Lake Forest. CHP helicopter H-20 was also in route when Warren was found.

This was an outstanding, quick and effective search. Responding with 11 members in one hour from being called, on a busy holiday weekend with traffic snarled in all directions was remarkable. This could have easily become a protracted search through the night, but with a quick response, pressing the public for information and excellent communications it was wrapped up in a matter of hours.

Sheriff Com Van Dispatch Searchers
Dave Hunt
Paul Moyer
Bill Lankton
Bill Healy Joe Pace
Kelli Twomey
Dirk Schoonmaker
Mark Johnson
Sara Lagano
Ron Driller
Jeff Rieger
Jim Rienstra
Karen Honeywell
Paul Honeywell
Russ Viehmann
Dan Ingalls
Steve Twomey