Search for missing autistic girl in Clearlake resumes

  • Area law enforcement agencies use boats and divers to search Cache Creek for missing 9-year-old autistic girl Mikaela Renee Lynch behind her home on Monday, May 13, 2013 in Clearlake, California. (BETH SCHLANKER/ The Press Democrat)

CLEARLAKE -- For Ronald and Belan Giles, there was never a question that they would help try to find 9-year-old Mikaela Renee Lynch.

"Other than the hair color, she looks just like my daughter," Belan Giles said as her family headed out to distribute fliers about the missing Clearlake girl. Like Mikaela, the Giles' grown daughter has autism and was prone to wandering off. "I can't fathom what the parents are going through."

Hundreds of volunteers and public safety officers spent Monday scouring Cache Creek and the lakeside neighborhoods in Clearlake, one day after Mikaela disappeared from the yard of her family's Highlands Harbor vacation home.

Missing Girl Found Dead In Clearlake


As of 9:45 p.m., however, searchers had found no sign of the girl and called off the search for the night.

Family members told police the 70-pound, 4-foot child has the mental capacity of a 1-year-old and can't speak, said Clearlake Police Lt. Tim Celli.

"She does like water. The residence does back up to waterways," Celli said. "As far as we know, she does not swim."

"We will keep doing this for as long as necessary," Clearlake Police Chief Craig Clausen said as he stopped for lunch at the search command post, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Bay Street and Lakeview Way, not far from the family home.

Mikaela was last seen on Mother's Day in the fenced backyard where she had been jumping on a trampoline and playing with her younger brother. He apparently ran inside after being chased by a bee and she was alone for an unknown period, Celli said.

The parents, who were inside the house, called for help at about 1:30 p.m.

Police believe Mikaela is naked and shoeless. They were told she often removed her clothes when she became hot. Police found articles of clothing in the yard.

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