Searchers gathered Friday in Trinity County to look for a Mendocino County hunter missing for three days.
Dave Stornetta, 59, of Manchester near Point Arena was last seen at 7 a.m. Wednesday by his son and others in their hunting group east of Covelo, in remote southern Trinity County, Trinity County sheriff’s officials said.
Stornetta was in an area of the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness called Indian Dick in southern Trinity County just over the Mendocino County line, sheriff’s spokeswoman Lynn Ward said. Stornetta is a member of the prominent Mendocino Coast ranching family. He lives and works on his family’s Stornetta Brothers Ranch.
He was hunting deer with his son Kyle as well as a friend and another relative in an area where they had hunted in the past, said his cousin Kelly Richardson of Santa Rosa.
The group set out that morning to hunt, but Stornetta failed to meet up with his son and the others at noon for lunch, sheriff’s officials said. Stornetta is 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds with hazel eyes and brown hair. He has no known medical problems but does smoke, the Sheriff’s Office said. He is an experienced hunter and was wearing a black ball cap, green sweatshirt, camouflage pants and Redwing boots.
He may be with his dog, a white-and-silver McNab named Maggie. The dog is 12 years old and deaf.
“He’s a very strong man and he’s very experienced in the outdoors so everybody has high hopes right now,” Richardson said. “But it is still very scary.”
However, his family didn’t believe Stornetta had any rain gear with him, and they were concerned that he was outdoors during a storm that blew in Thursday.
About 1.3 inches of rain fell over the past 24 hours ending Friday morning at a weather station in the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness at about 4,500 feet elevation, said National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Kidwell, who is based in Eureka. Temperatures dipped into the low 40s at night and reached the mid 50s during the day.
Friday brought a break in the rainfall for searchers. However another storm was forecast to bring more rain and a cold front Saturday afternoon, Kidwell said.
“It’s probably going to be fairly heavy rainfall and temperatures are going to be dropping tomorrow,” Kidwell said Friday.
Thursday’s storm knocked out Verizon Wireless cell service for a swath of northern California that had not yet been restored in all of Trinity County, hampering efforts to coordinate searchers Friday, Ward said.
Ground searchers and dog teams were gathering in Trinity County to set out Friday afternoon, she said.
Stornetta was camping in an area on the opposite end of Trinity County from the location where a Santa Rosa family therapist disappeared in August. Stephen Morris, 59, of Windsor disappeared while hiking in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Billy’s Peak in the Stoddard Lake area. He has not been found.
You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @jjpressdem.