SDMRT 2017-10 Taiheng Sun

Incident Name: Taiheng Sun, Scripps Ranch

Address: 15223 Maple Grove Lane, San Diego, CA 92131

Birthday: 03/04/1932

SDPD Case #: 17-023307

Operational Periods: 6

Original report by Kyle Albertson (thru 6/18), appended by Dennis Peck (thru 8/10), and remains search information provided by Sergeant Duey and Ming Chuang.

Description – Mr. Jang Sun, 85 y/o Asian male, 5’ 6”, 140#, brown eyes, short gray hair. Dark color ball cap, white jacket, gray pants, Vans slip-on shoe size 11.

Moderate dementia, will answer to his name. Little to no English. Speaks Mandarin Chinese. Within the last month experienced severe depression. On an anti-depressant and has had suicidal ideations recently. Medication had positive effect on his mental health. Had made a statement in the past that he would disappear if he went missing.

Was known to chase coyotes and snakes and was in good physical health. Was found 6 miles from home at times and had a known circuit he would walk daily. His normal posture was hands behind his back with a slow shuffle or small steps, face looking at the ground.

Does not drive and no friends in the area. Was thought to have $200-$700 on his person. Would seek out other Chinese speaking people.

ASTREA and ABLE were deployed Thursday. ASTREA was visibly seen patrolling Friday and Saturday. Unsure about Sunday. A drone team was used Friday night and throughout the weekend. Aircraft and drone FLIR was not effective due to the high temperatures even in the late/early hours of the night.

06/15/2017 at approx. 1932 his family arrived at the residence above and discovered he was not there. Last seen at approx. 0700 when his family left the residence was the initial report. Mr. Sun was reportedly overly happy this morning. Southwest Search Dogs was contacted and deployed by SDPD.

06/16/17 SDSO SAR was contacted. A canine was deployed late in the day with scent article. Canine tracked Mr. Sun up and down Maple Grove Rd and to the Sycamore Canyon area south of Maple Grove until canine was exhausted due to the heat.

06/17/17 The subject’s son came by the CP approximately 1720 and spoke with Sgt Boudreau, coordinator on call. He stated no one in the family actually saw him on Thursday morning. Mr. Sun could have very well left the house sometime on Wednesday.

Towards the end of the day, a sighting report came in placing the subject at Pomerado and Scripps Poway Pkwy on Thursday morning. LE was trying to verify if he was captured on a security camera in the vicinity. It was believed by the RP that he went into the Starbucks at that location. On Sunday it was relayed at the morning briefing the sighting was not verified by video.

No significant clues or sign was found during search effort. A sun-bleached bone was found by SDMRT Stevens and Zur. The ME has been contacted, will collect and examine.

06/18/17 There was a significant response of searchers due to the outreach for Mutual Aid. Most assignments were in canyons and drainages at this point in the search. The urban areas had been heavily canvassed.

Various Agencies responded to the Mutual Aid request on Sunday. CHINA LAKE (left at 1:30 am) Kern County, Riverside County, Palm Desert SAR(?), and Orange County. From Sgt Duey – I don’t have individual numbers but there were a total of 24 mutual aid volunteers. Pretty impressive.

6/22/17 Search continued in areas of Sycamore Canyon County park to the south and east of CP. Searcher turnout was light. No clues reported. CP located at "West Sycamore Trailhead": 32°55’46.4"N 117°00’04.7"W // 32.929556, -117.001306 // 499878, 3643478 (Zone 11) // 11S MS 99878 43478

06/23/17 Search continued on areas of Sycamore Canyon County park south and west of the CP to the MCAS Miramar border. Dennis Peck participated in CP Operations post. No clues reported. Search suspended.

8/10/17 SDG&E line crew working on MCAS Miramar near Santee Lakes discovered tattered and bloody clothing matching the description of Mr. Sun at the base of one of the power poles. NCIS and SDPD responded with several of SDAR’s dog handling teams to conduct an initial search of the area. Numerous human remains were discovered, but it appeared that a larger search would be beneficial. The Medical Examiner’s office was notified and took over the investigation.

8/12/17 Ming assisted SDSAR’s cadaver dog teams to search for any final remains. The coordinates for the located remains are USNG 11S MS 9840 3767. The location had not been previously searched and was approximately 3 miles outside of the initial 2 mile search area. From 0800-1200 three teams were used to each search an assigned 100 sq yard section of sloped terrain. They discovered a torn section of white fabric with blood stains, a torn section of blue fabric, a rib bone, an upper denture, a sock, and various small bone fragments.

SDMRT Responders:

  1. 06/16/17 Marshall Masser, Jesse Ma, Brian White, Kyle Albertson
  2. 06/17/17 Marshall Masser, Jesse Ma, Kyle Albertson, Ming Chuang, John Mao, Brenda Stevens, Eitan Zur
  3. 06/18/17 Adam Kimmerly, Erin Rist, Will Pisarello, Kyle Albertson
  4. 06/22/17 Dennis Peck
  5. 06/23/17 Dennis Peck, Rob Bair
  6. 08/12/17 Ming Chuang