UPDATED: Missing 5 days now, woman’s dog found, search for “at-risk” 71-year-old ongoing
UPDATED: Wednesday, Apr. 25, 6 a.m. With updates regarding recovery of dogUPDATED: Tuesday, Apr. 24, 9 p.m. With additional information from SCSO and family
SEE ORIGINAL AND UPDATED STORIES AND ALL SCSO RELEASES AND PHOTOGRAPHS BELOW
FALL RIVER MILLS — The desperate search for a missing “at-risk” 71-year-old woman, last seen five days ago when she went for a walk with a dog, was reinvigorated earlier today when the missing dog wandered back home.
The renewed and concentrated search efforts – conducted both from the air and ground – concentrated on a rugged and wooded area east of where the victim was last seen and the direction from which the dog returned home.
Although the missing woman has still not been found, calling the dog’s return a significant development, officials say the search is scheduled to pick up again early Wednesday morning.
Lauralyn “Lyn” Palmer was last seen walking with a Queensland Heeler-type dog named “Lucy,” Friday afternoon, around 4:30 p.m. The rural area in the area of Cassel Fall River Road near Shoshone Loop is south of Highway 299 and Fall River Mills and east of Highway 89. According to her husband Bob, Lyn may be experiencing the early signs of dementia.
According to officials, Bob reported Lyn missing about two hours after she left for her walk, when she had not returned as expected. She has been described as 5’2″ tall, about 140 pounds, with gray hair and glasses.
Although Lucy has since returned home, searchers have not been able to locate any sign or trace of Lyn, Shasta County Sheriff’s Office explained in a social media update late Tuesday evening.
Before Lucy’s return, with few initial tips or leads to go on and recent overnight temperatures dipping into the mid-30’s, officials have using all available resources to assist with the search.
To date, Shasta County Sheriff’s search efforts have received help, resources and assistance from other area allied law enforcement agencies including Lake County, Mendocino County, Siskiyou County and Butte County Sheriff’s Offices, as well as California Highway Patrol. Other area agencies including Redding PD and others have been notified regarding Lyn and the details of her disappearance.
Shasta County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue officials have also been receiving help in the form of resources and man-power from Lyn’s neighbors, friends and other volunteers who have been searching for the missing victim on foot; while riding dirt bikes, ATV’s and off-road UTV’s; on horseback; and with assistance from local “Jeepers” and other citizens with 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
On Tuesday – the fifth day of the exhaustive search, officials and volunteer’s spirits got a much-needed boost when Lucy wandered back home around noon – much to the elation of family members.
“During the search the dog Lauralyn Palmer had been walking with returned on its own,” SCSO officials explained in a social media update late Tuesday evening. According to officials, the dog “appeared to be in good condition.”
Officials have not yet said publicly if they were able to locate evidence on Lucy to help discern where she – and Lyn – might have gone or been since the pair’s disappearance five days ago.
After Lucy’s return home, officials immediately mobilized all available resources, including established and organized search and rescue teams as well as other volunteers; including family, friends and neighbors.
Participants began concentrating their search efforts – both from the air and ground – in the the rocky, rugged, and wooded area east of where Lyn had last been seen and the direction from which Lucy had returned home.
While every available ground resource was called in to help with the reinvigorated search, a California Highway Patrol Air Operations unit responded to the area to assist in the search from overhead.
“This ongoing large scale search consisted of areas Palmer was last known to be as well as other possible routes she could have taken,” SCSO explained. Other than Casell Fall River Road and a few random dirt roads and trails, no other major roadways travel though the immediate area.
Officials and volunteers worked tirelessly until nightfall, but once it became too dark to continue officials broke the operation down for the evening.
“Even though these numerous agencies covered an extensive area, Lauralyn Palmer was unfortunately still not located,” wrote SCSO officials, stressing that the search is ongoing.
Area resident Felisa Westlake, who has been continuously providing social media updates since Lyn’s disappearance was first reported, has repeatedly thanked officials and the entire community for their continued prayers and support.
In one early update explaining the ongoing search efforts, Westlake described the missing dog as “pretty skittish” and she said the family was worried that Lucy might have gotten spooked and run off – possibly with Lynn trying to follow her.
“The concern from (law enforcement officials) is keeping people safe,” Westlake explained in a recent update. “There are rattlesnakes, bears, cats, etc. Not to mention the terrible terrain. They don’t want to end up with a secondary search.”
“We aren’t completely sure where to search next as private citizens,” Westlake explained in another update. “But we have some going to the eddy in the water and on foot. We also will be doing more behind the house but further out.”
Those involved in the search have requested assistance from any area agencies, clubs or private citizens able to assist with the search from overhead in the form of a drone with a camera system capable of live imaging or video playback.
Westlake has asked that any volunteers who want to come out and assist in the search directly or indirectly, remember to “wear bright clothing, use the buddy system, have water and provisions and have your cell phone with you.” For more information about how you can help in the search for Lynn visit Find Lyn Palmer on Facebook.
According to SCSO, search and rescue operations will resume early Wenesday morning.
The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office is still requesting the public’s help locating Lyn and has asked the public to notify dispatch of any information or details, no matter how seemingly insignificant, which could help locate the victim. SHASCOM’s non-emergency public number to Shascom Dispatch is (530) 245-6540.
This is a developing story that will be updated as information becomes available.
Although it is always wisest to perform a remote area search and rescue out of one centralized and unified point of command, in the absence of an established and organized search and rescue team, law enforcement and fire officials suggest participants plan well in advance for any eventuality; including being prepared for the possibility of an unexpected overnight stay or two.
Always tell a friend or family member details of the area you will be searching, including the name and location of roads and trails you plan on using and your estimated return time. Also leave a detailed note with the same information on your vehicle’s dashboard or in a conspicuous place at your residence or nearest sheriff’s office or ranger’s station.
Searchers should either stay on well-established trails or within a pre-designated and centrally-tracked grid search pattern, and allow enough time to return to trail heads – well before dark.
The most basic supplies to bring along include wearing or bringing appropriate clothing for the projected overnight conditions, bringing a reasonable amount of water, having a fully charged cell phone, and if possible – a cell phone charger.
Additionally, whenever possible searchers should carry common hiking safety equipment, such as GPS, maps and compasses, a basic first aid kit, a signal whistle and/or signal mirror and an Emergency Personal Locator Beacon.
ALSO: I have been trying to contact the victim’s family as I have extensive experience organizing urban, rural and remote area searches both from a law enforcement perspective as well as a military objective; including operating a centralized and unified SAR command and communication’s center.
ORIGINAL AND UPDATED STORY: Sunday, Apr. 22, 5 a.m. Extensive ground and air search for “at-risk” missing 71-year-old ongoing
FALL RIVER MILLS — The search for an “at-risk” missing 71-year-old woman – last seen walking with a dog more than 36 hours ago – is continuing, with countless volunteers and officials assisting in the ongoing search efforts. With recent overnight temperatures dipping into the mid-30’s, officials are using all available resources to assist with the search.
Volunteers from throughout the community of about 600 residents and surrounding areas have been searching – both from the air and ground – the rocky, rugged and wooded areas around where the victim was last seen.
Officials have identified the missing woman as Lauralyn “Lyn” Palmer. According to a Shasta County Sheriff’s social media release, Palmer was last seen in a wooded area near the 23000 block of Cassel Fall River Road, south Highway 299 and Fall River Mills.
Shasta County Sheriff’s Office was first notified of Palmer’s disappearance shortly after 6:30 p.m., Friday evening, when her husband Bob called 911 and reported to SHASCOM that his wife was possibly missing. Palmer’s husband told emergency dispatchers his wife had gone for a walk about two hours earlier and had not returned.
Early in their missing person’s investigation, deputies learned Palmer may be experiencing the early stages of dementia. She has been described as 5’2″ tall, about 140 pounds, with gray hair and glasses. The dog with Palmer has been described as a Queensland Heeler-type cattle dog.
Based on the circumstances, Shasta County Search and Rescue was activated and officials, volunteers and “numerous resources” responded to the scene to assist in Palmer’s search.
Throughout the next day and a half, Palmer’s neighbors, friends and other search participants have been searching for the missing victim on foot; while riding dirt bikes, ATV’s and off-road UTV’s; on horseback and while driving Jeeps and other 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
So far, searchers have not found any trace of the missing woman or the dog and their search is ongoing.
In a social media post to SNIPPP, area resident Felisa Westlake asked the community for help in the ongoing search and explained the missing woman had last been seen walking her sister’s dog, Lucy.
Describing the dog as “pretty skittish”, Westlake explained, “We are concerned that maybe she took off from Lynn and Lynn tried to follow her.”
“Please let us know if anyone sees her,” Westlake implored.
Anyone with information about this investigation or who was in the area of Cassel Fall River Road near Shoshoni Loop and believes they may have seen Palmer, is encouraged to call SCSO at (530)-245-6540.
This is a developing story that will be updated as information becomes available.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trevor Montgomery, 46, recently moved to Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, The Valley Chronicle and Anza Valley Outlook as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident.
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 27 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 14 grandchildren.