MENDOCINO Co., 12/1/21 — John Davis went missing eight miles up Highway 162 more than five weeks ago, and since then two very different search efforts have taken shape. The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) says it found new evidence last week during an aerial search, and is planning to send a team in on foot to check it out. MCSO sent crews in during the first few days of the search, but Davis’ family isn’t waiting for them to come back. The civilians are conducting a search of their own, and according to a crowdfunding effort posted by a family member, they’ve been shot at by the locals.
“The public should keep in mind that private property owners have rights that prevent people from unlawfully accessing their land,” Capt. Greg Van Patten told The Mendocino Voice in an email. “This also applies to law enforcement and mainly prevents us from accessing someone’s land without first getting owner consent.”
Van Patten pointed out that deputies could ask a judge to sign a warrant or possibly search private property under “exigent circumstances,” but that would require a reasonable belief that Davis was on that property, alive and in imminent danger. Based on statements from the family, however, they seem to believe those circumstances apply here.
“For the last two weeks it has been just family and friends searching for our brother without the help of (MCSO),” wrote Jenny Lawrence, who identifies herself as the missing man’s sister, last week on www.gofundme.com. “We have been shot at as well as weird messages from people claiming that they have our brother and wanting ransom for his return.”
Nevertheless, Lawrence said her family is looking for a home to rent in Covelo as their search continues. They’re staying in hotels and raising money to cover those expenses, but they also said the proceeds will also go toward Davis’ medical care when they find him. “As the days get longer and the nights get colder, we ask for the public’s help,” Lawrence wrote.
The search and rescue professionals appear to be less optimistic about Davis’ wellbeing.
“It is believed Mr. Davis went missing in the swift water of the Eel River caused by the heavy storm as no signs of him were located in the extensive terrain/land search that lasted for several days after his initial disappearance,” Van Patten wrote. “Due to the extended period of Mr. Davis’ disappearance this is becoming more of a search and recovery mission as opposed to a search and rescue mission.”
They haven’t put a team on the ground in more than a week, but Tuesday, Nov. 23, MCSO searched 15 to 20 miles downriver from Davis’ campsite from the air with assistance from a California Highway Patrol (CHP) helicopter. The aerial team found an item of clothing as well as some material they think may have been part of a raft. Neither of those things are necessarily connected to Davis, but Van Patten said investigators want to look for more evidence in the surrounding area. They’re in the planning stages of another ground search. Meanwhile, the missing man’s family says they will continue to look for him night and day.
10/25/21 — Search underway for Humboldt County hunter missing in the Covelo area
Sympathy for the family, but they need to start respecting property up there and stay out of areas where they don’t have permission. If they don’t start showing some respect for the land owners up there they will find themselves locked out permanently.
The family is seriously in denial. He’s been missing for a MONTH and was last seen camping on a freakin’ river bar on the night that it rained 8 inches and the river level rose by TWENTY FOUR feet. And that’s all the way downstream at Ft. Seward*. Where he was camping is much further upstream and closer to the burn scars from the last two years so it probably rose FAST.
I’m sorry, but a go-fund-me for his medical care is absurd.
Sorry about the bad link, this one is better. And I exaggerated, the NOAA forecast was 24 feet but in actuality it only rose by 18 feet. Pretty much all to the same end tho.
Search and Rescue’s afraid to get wet.. Told them he was downriver on Day 1 but all they wanted to do was drive around the mountain and search from their vehicles.. WEAKSAUCE!!!
He’s in the ocean by now.
Prayers ro the family
Imagine if it were your family and the sheriffs office thought they found something a week ago and still havent gone out to find out if its even his! And btw. The family has been searching for 5 weeks with almost no help from the sheriffs dept.. Also, the family does not believe he went in the river, they have been looking on the mountain, which is where his dog was located. Why would his dog have been on the mountain if he was in the river? Also , it is NOT legal to just shoot someone because you see them on your property. If you think someone is poaching you call fish and game. Especially since there is no fencing. This is a human being we are talking about. A father, a son , a brother and a grandpa. People need to show some respect.
I have sympathy for their situation, but not for their trespassing. The former doesn’t excuse the latter. Advertising on facebook for flash mob of random dimwits to come march uninvited all over other people’s land is beyond rude. And yes there are fences, gates and plenty of posted signs.
Only other possibility is the Mexicans guys who are growing marijuana right by the river where he disappeared.. Sheriff’s Deputies said they were going to talk with them on the first morning he was missing..
“Advertising for a flash mob of random dimwits”???!!!! Do you really think they are just trying to be rude? Or maybe they are not getting any help from regular sources and are desperate to find their family member? Firstly, they DO have permission of all of the landowners except for two. And one of those two is the last person to have seen him. Secondly, it’s pretty weird that y’all just assume that he was poaching. He had tags. Do poachers buy tags? And if you think someone is poaching then what? Call Fish and Game!!! NO! These landowners think they can block public access roads and SHOOT AT THE SEARCHERS! The mentality of some people is what is going to make us lose our gun rights.
WHAT public roads?? The two roads on both sides of the river there are PRIVATE easements, and until this incident were 100% behind locked gates.
And tags or no tags, hunting on other peoples’ land is poaching. Look it up.
Wow! To the person that said and I quote “sympathy for the family! ” You are bat crazy if you think that there was any sympathy in what you wrote! The Davis family are very nice and respectful people. They’re looking for their family member that they care very much about I’m just wondering if it was your family member out there that you cared very much about what would you do I know for sure that they are not out there trying to ruin people’s land or trespass on people’s properties or trying to cause any problems with the landowners they just want to know what happened to their family member.