Update: The man has been located alive, the Oakland Police Department announced Sunday. Original story below.
ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — An aerial search was conducted on Friday for an 85-year-old man in Oakland who has been missing since Tuesday.
Alfonso Arechiga suffers from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Before taking flight, a group of current and former search and rescue experts debrief at Hayward Executive Airport.
“We have a couple medics here,” said Eric Jones who is the organizer of the search team. Jones founded the non-profit Sea Valor.
Sea Valor was hired by Alfonso Arechiga’s family to fly over the Oakland hills, where it’s believed Alfonso is lost.
“He’s spent two nights out now, hopefully safely,” Jones said.
Alfonso’s son Michael joined the group searching for the missing man.
In addition to the Oakland Police Department’s ground search, the crew made several trips in the air throughout the day.
The crew focuses its search on Alfonso’s neighborhood, the Chabot Estates, near Lake Chabot Golf Course.
“He’s just a gentleman. He deserves this,” his son Michael said.
The hope is that Alfonso is not being blocked by any trees or structures — that he can be seen from above by the spotters and eventually be taken home.
Michael says his dad usually has a GPS tracker, but his family forgot to put in on Tuesday while they were managing Alfonso’s wife’s heart surgery.
“I’m very optimistic,” Jones said. “It’s only been two days. The weathers been mild at night. It hasn’t been too cold. So, hypothermia is not an issue, and it’s not too hot during the day.”
“It’s imperative. We just need closure. We just want him back,” Michael said.