UPDATE 6/13/18, 5:15 p.m. — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has released the name of the man whose body was found in a lake off Branscomb Rd. this morning. Joshua Piszczek, 35 of San Francisco, appears to have drowned while attending a large private party at a venue and “glamping” location called Mendocino Magic, at 3000 Branscomb Rd., just outside of Laytonville.
According to a press release from the MSCO, Piszczek had been swimming in a lake on the property on Saturday, June 9. He was was last seen by his girlfriend that afternoon, sitting on a dock, but after turning back to look for him on the dock he was gone. She and his friends searched the area for him but could not find him, and after two days, the sheriff’s office was contacted with a missing person report.
A substantial missing person search was then mounted which included assistance from Mendocino Search and Rescue as well as the search and rescue teams of several neighboring, and Bay Area, counties, the Little Lake Fire Department and California Explorer Search and Rescue.
Piszczek’s body was found this morning by a deputy, after it surfaced in the lake. The lake in question appears to be a large reservoir on the property.
At this time the MCSO does not suspect “foul play” but they are conducting an autopsy.
Here is the original press release from the MSCO:
DATE: “June 13, 2018”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Missing Person with Search and Rescue Operation
3000 Branscomb Road in Laytonville, CA
Date of Incident:
Joshua Piszczek (35 year-old male from San Francisco, CA)
Sergeant Andrew Porter #2403
On 06-11-2018 at approximately 8:18 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were notified of a missing person last seen at 3000 Branscomb Road in Laytonville, California.
The location was a 600 acre rural property that is maintained as a private campground and event center, known as Mendocino Magic.
Upon arrival at the location, Deputies were informed that on 06-09-2018 Joshua Piszczek was on the property and had gone missing.
It was reported Piszczek had been attending an organized music festival event at the campground. On the afternoon of 06-09-2018 Piszczek went swimming in the lake at the campground and was last seen by his girlfriend sitting on a dock moored to the shore of the lake.
After a short time, the girlfriend looked back and Piszczek was gone. The girlfriend, along with several other event goers searched the area for Piszczek thinking he might have left the lakeside on foot. After 2 days, and Piszczek not returning, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted.
Deputies searched the area of the lake on foot during nighttime hours after receiving the report, however the area is steep with rugged terrain with lots of tree and brush coverage.
On 06-12-2018 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team was sent to the location. An Incident Command Post was established and searchers began searching, with special focus on the lake.
The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team had one diver in the lake. The Sheriff’s Office requested Cal Fire assistance by having Copter 101 from the CAL FIRE Howard Forest Helitack Base assist by searching from the air as the lake had water clarity of about 10 feet in depth. Additionally members of the Little Lake Fire Department Water Rescue Team and Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue responded to assist with inflatable boats and Kayaks on the lake.
Having no luck finding Piszczek, mutual aid was requested from the California Office of Emergency Services and plans were set in place for additional searching on 06-13-2018 to include surface and sub surface searching of the lake.
On 06-13-2017 as resources were arriving and checking into the Incident Command Post for their search assignments, a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy arrived at the lake at approximately 7:18 P.M. and observed what he thought was human remains floating in the lake, near where the missing person was last seen.
The remains were removed and identified as being the missing person, Joshua Piszczek. No foul play is suspected at this point, however an autopsy is pending.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to the thank the following agencies for their response and assistance:
Little Fire Department
Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue
California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services
Sonoma County Search and Rescue
Marin County Search and Rescue
Contra Costa County Search and Rescue
San Mateo County Search and Rescue
Bay Area Mountain Search and Rescue (BAMRU)
Napa County Search and Rescue
Solano County Search and Rescue
California Explorer Search and Rescue (CAL-ESAR)
Captain Gregory L. Van Patten #1184
UPDATE 12:25 p.m. — The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the deceased was found in connection with a search and rescue operation that was begun on June 11.
MENDOCINO Co., 6/13/18 — A body has been recovered from a pond in the 3000 block of Branscomb Rd., Southern Humboldt County Technical Rescue has confirmed. Here’s the full story from our colleague Kym Kemp, we will update when more information become available:
My name is Nena Garcia. My son, Joshua Piszczek was the victim of drowning at last year’s Mendocino Magic Festival. This tragedy has affected our family deeply. During the course of the investigation my family and I spoke to law enforcement. We were told at the time that they were clearly aware that altho this festival is touted as a MUSIC festival they are aware that it is in fact a DRUG festival. My understanding is that this yearly event has been going on for many years. I would very much like the public to be made aware of the true nature of this event. Is there any chance that more publicity could be brought to light about this? Thank you.
They won’t. They (L.E) don’t even look for the people who are locals who go missing around here. Some have been gone for years so although I know that you are experiencing deep sadness and excruciating pain in his death, Just feel glad they were in the mood to locate your child on that day. Because it is well known around this area that is considered lucky for those of us who are still searching and getting no assistance or answers. Very sorry for your loss