Missing Mentally Disabled Man

October 9, 2008

by Grace Manues

On Wednesday, October 8th, employees of the Water District found an abandoned vehicle on Water District property south of I-10. The car was traced back to a missing man from the East Coast. Records of his ATM usage showed that he had driven from the East Coast to Washington State, then south to Mexico, and back north ending his journey in Cabazon.

After Sheriff's deputies searched on Wednesday, more than a dozen members of RMRU and DSSAR joined the search Thursday afternoon. Typically we look for sign, such as tracks or other clues, that might give us a sense of his direction. High winds, soft sand, and vehicular and foot traffic left no indication of which way this gentleman headed. Complicating matters, we were told the man was schizophrenic and most likely off his medication. Further, we did not know whether he had driven there willingly, under coercion, or whether someone else dumped his car there. We had little to go on.

After combing the surrounding area until dusk, a more limited search was conducted Friday afternoon with a bloodhound. No hits. So a more extensive, grid-type search was planned for Saturday when more team members would be available. As we began assembling that chilly Saturday morning at 6:00 a.m., the disoriented subject was found by a Deputy a few blocks from the Sheriff's sub-station.