SDMRT 2019-13 El Cajon

SDMRT 2019-13 El Cajon

July 11, 2019

SDMRT Responders: Dennis Peck, Dave Brandt

SDMRT ITC: Mark Kenney

Other responding organizations: San Diego County Sheriff’s Department SAR, including dog team, ASTREA air support, and local law enforcement. Estimate total of approx. 25 SAR personnel.

Short Summary:

  • Type of callout: Full
  • In-county: San Diego
  • Type of search: Search for missing person
  • Environment: Urban/suburban
  • Location
    • LKP leaving the Viejas Bus Station, 385 S. Marshall Ave. El Cajon, CA 92020
    • CP at El Cajon Transit Station, 352 S. Marshall Ave. El Cajon, CA 92020
    • Subject found approximately 10:08 in El Cajon.
  • Operational periods, if applicable
    • Earliest time of activity: Callout request at 07:17 on 07/11/2019
    • Ending time: 10:23 on 07/11/2019
  • Information about the subjects:
    • Name of subject: Eufemia Danahar
    • Age, Gender: 79 year old female
    • Level of fitness and experience: Unknown
    • Mental status: Suffers from diagnosed, but undisclosed, medical conditions. Undiagnosed dementia.
    • Injuries: Unknown
    • How were they found: An ASTREA pilot was driving around looking for the subject and noticed a woman matching the description of Danahar at the La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant, 660 El Cajon Blvd. El Cajon, CA 92020.
  • Any rescuers injured: No injuries reported
  • Aircraft used: ASTREA

Descriptive Report:

Sgt. Abutin had the SAR on-call. He received a call at about 0245 hours, reference Danaher being missing from Viejas Casino. Surveillance video showed her getting on a bus at about 2337 hours on 7/10/19, from the casino. After further investigation, it was determined she got off the bus at the trolley station in El Cajon. Danaher is diagnosed with several medical conditions and is undiagnosed with dementia (family members noticing how forgetful she is).

Sgt Abutin placed the SAR call at 0717. SAR/MRT began arriving at the initial CP location, but it was quickly noticed that location would be too small. The CP was moved to the southwest corner of W. Main St and Marshall Ave. Due to a low ceiling ASTREA was not able to launch until about 0830 hours, at which time they began making announcements. Team deployments were made initially as hasty searches by vehicle, since she had 7-hour head start. She was last seen northbound on Marshall Ave and she lives northbound on Marshall Ave at Bradley Ave.

Planning began: Team 1 was deployed as a slow direct ride to her residence. A K9 team was sent to her residence for a scent article. The family interview team was preparing for their interview. Team 2 (SDSAR Rutherford and Maskiewicz) was deployed, as a slow ride, in a vehicle eastbound on W. Main St to westbound El Cajon Blvd to Interstate 8 westbound on ramp.

Dennis Peck and Steve Hall arrived and took over planning. As they were putting together foot teams, I received a phone call from ASTREA Sergeant Bligh, who said one of his pilots was out driving around looking for Danaher. The pilot noticed a lady matching the description of Danaher at La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant, 660 El Cajon Blvd. At about the same time the pilot saw Danaher, Team 2, Rutherford and Maskiewicz, also saw Danaher. Team 2 turned around and met with Danaher and the pilot, at about 1000 o’clock. Danaher was uninjured, she told the pilot she was not lost she was waiting for her husband.

Lessons learned/ suggestions for future operations:

The restaurant where the subject was located is approximately ½ mile from the bus station where she was last seen. In urban/suburban searches it can be beneficial to take the long way to arrive at the CP.