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Sonoma County family awaits word about missing loved one

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Each new minute is anguish for members of a well-known Sonoma County family desperate for word from a father of two who’s gone missing from his home in Alameda.

“It’s awful, awful,” said Jon Batzdorff, a prominent maker of prosthetic limbs. There has been no known sign of his 42-year-old son, Santa Rosa High alumnus Eric Batzdorff, since Sunday.

The younger Batzdorff, an employee of a technology firm in Pleasanton, was not at his Alameda apartment when his estranged wife came by at about 3 p.m. that day to drop off the couple’s daughters, who are 10 and 12.

Eric Batzdorff’s car, a 2013 silver Honda Accord with a large dent in the right rear panel and the license plate 7AZC963, was not at the apartment.

Members of his family went into the apartment and found nothing unusual.

Earlier that same Sunday, Batzdorff and his younger daughter were in Santa Rosa visiting Batzdorff’s parents. Jon and Rose Batzdorff have lived in Sonoma County for nearly 40 years, and their son and their daughter, Lisa Batzdorff Kearns, grew up here. Eric Batzdorff graduated from Santa Rosa High in 1994 and went on to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

His family name is familiar to many because of his parents’ decades of work and philanthropy in prostheses, and because Jon Batzdorff’s parents, Alfred and Susanne, also of Santa Rosa, are well known for their recollections as Holocaust survivors and their efforts against genocide.

Jon Batzdorff said his son has been despondent over challenges in his life. “We are very concerned for him,” he said.

He said his son adores his daughters, and it was utterly out of character for him not to be at his apartment at the appointed time that the girls’ mother was to bring them by.

Eric Batzdorff and his wife have been living a few miles apart in Alameda, the island town west of Oakland.

Jon Batzdorff said that after his son left Santa Rosa at midday Sunday, he drove to the home of his daughters’ mother. His younger daughter went inside, and her mom told Batzdorff she would bring both girls to his apartment 45 minutes later, at 3 p.m.

Batzdorff and his car were not at the apartment when his wife and daughters arrived.

The family contacted the Alameda Police Department and reported Batzdorff missing.

Jon Batzdorff said it appears that his son’s cellphone powered down at some point. He said it might be possible to track his son’s movement electronically, but that would require a court order and such orders are not granted when there is no indication that a person’s disappearance involved the commission of a crime.

The elder Batzdorff said relatives and friends of his son throughout the Bay Area have printed and electronically posted Missing Person posters.

Jon Batzdorff said his own message to his son is that “there are so many people who love him and want him safe, and care for him. And if he’s able to come home, we are here for him.”

Anyone with possible information about Eric Batzdorff should contact Sgt. Alan Kuboyama with the Alameda Police Department at (510) 337-8538 or akuboyama@alamedaca.gov.

You can contact Chris Smith at 707 521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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