SDMRT Operations Report 2019-17

SDMRT Operations Report 2019-28

Full Callout – Missing Person, Oceanside, CA

Juana Perez

6-7 October 2019

SDMRT Responders Operational Period 1: Richard Yocum (OL), TJ Tischer, Jeff Oxford

SDMRT ITC: Hugo Bermudez

Other responding organizations: SDSDSAR, Oceanside PD, OC Sheriff K-9 (did not participate)

Short Summary:

  • Type of callout: Full
  • In-county or if mutual aid: In-county
  • Type of search: Search for missing person
  • Environment: Urban
  • Location:
    • LKP at Rite Aid @ 3813 Plaza Drive in Oceanside, CA
    • CP at the same location
    • Subject located at approx. 0044 hours on the Campus of Mira Costa College, approx. 1 mi from LKP
  • Operational period:
    • Earliest time of activity: Callout request at 2102 hours on 10/6/19 for operational period beginning immediately
    • Search ended on 10/07/19, when subject located approx. 0044 hours
  • Information about the subject:
    • Number/names of subjects: 1 subject, Juana Perez
    • Age/Gender: 67 yo female
    • Level of fitness and preparedness: No known physical limitations, known to be able to walk a long distance
    • Mental status: Subject is diagnosed (unofficially) with Alzheimer’s, and has a history of wandering.
    • Injuries, if applicable: None reported
    • How were they found: Subject was identified by private security patrol on Mira Costa College campus. Security contacted 911 to report.
  • Any rescuers injured: None known
  • Aircraft used: ASTREA helicopter doing overheard PA

Descriptive Report

Juana Perez (67 years old, female, 5’4”, 115 pounds, grey hair and brown eyes) had travelled with family members to the Rite Aid located at 3818 Plaza Drive in Oceanside, CA. The family reported arriving at the location at approx. 1700 hours. The subject remained in the vehicle (which was parked immediately in front of the store) while the daughter and granddaughter entered the location. On returning to the car at approx. 1705 to 1715 hours, the subject was no longer in the car. The family reported searching the immediate area of the shopping center for the subject before contacting 911. Oceanside PD was contacted at 1845 hours and searched the area for about 2 hours, utilized ASTREA and a NIXLE, before requesting SAR for assistance and a callout was initiated.

The subject had walked away 10 – 12 times previously, and had been missing for up to 48 hours and was found up to about 3 miles away. She was reported more likely to be found around people and along more heavily trafficked roads, and may ask for rides. She has no phone, credit card, or transit pass, but may have some cash.

SDMRT members Yocum, Oxford and Tischer responded to the callout arriving at the CP at approx. 2200, 2210, and 2230, respectively. Yocum was Plans in the CP (MC5 arrived at approx. 2220 hours) and Oxford and Tischer were field members. By that point, about 5 hours had elapsed and there was no known direction of travel.

Multiple search teams were assembled with mixed members of SDSDSAR including K9 and SDMRT to search multiple designated areas in the immediate vicinity including a hasty team search of the shopping plaza which contained the Rite Aid. A total of 9 teams were deployed, consisting of a team interviewing the reporting party, 2 canine teams (1 deployed twice), 1 motorized, and the rest ground teams. Hazards to searching parties included concerns about a creek bed behind the plaza known to be a location of numerous transient camps. Those areas were searched with armed escorts from Oceanside PD.

Two scent articles were obtained from the subject’s residence, about 1 mile away, and both trailing dogs were believed to follow scent from the LKP to the intersection of College and Plaza, and from there tracked with less certainty westward on Haymar, and ceasing to follow scent in the vicinity of the Mirasol residential development.

While the search was ongoing, the subject was located in good condition on the Mira Costa College campus at approximately 0044 hours on 10/07/2019 by a campus security officer approximately 1 mile north of areas under active assignment by teams in the field. All teams were recalled to CP and the operation was concluded.

Lessons learned/ suggestions for future operations:

Due to the limited operational period and assignments, none have been identified in this report.