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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Friday June 4th, 2021 :: 04:15 p.m. PDT


News Story - Ventura County Sheriff's Office Finds Missing 16-Year-Old

Nature of Incident: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Finds Missing 16-Year-Old
Report Number: 21-71424
Location: Ojai Valley Land Conservancy Area, Ojai,  CA
Date & Time: 06/01/2021 at 1:45 PM
Unit(s) Responsible: Ojai Patrol Services, Ojai Investigation Bureau, Upper Ojai Search
and Rescue, Ventura County Aviation, Tactical Response Team
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence  
(P) Male Juvenile City of Ojai  
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office used multiple resources to locate a male juvenile who was suffering from a mental health crisis.
On 06/01/2021 at approximately 1:45 PM, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a call for service reference a 16-year-old male juvenile who was suffering from an apparent mental health crisis at home in the city of Ojai.  As deputies responded to the scene, they received further information the juvenile had fled from his home and was last seen walking toward the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy Area north of Shelf Trail. As the deputies arrived at the trailhead, they observed the juvenile going up the trail and was quickly out of their view. He was last seen dressed in all black, hiking north on Fox Canyon Trail headed towards Foothill Trail.
The family reported the juvenile had not eaten in multiple days and they were concerned for his safety. They did not feel he was able to handle the hot weather and strenuous hiking in his current condition. Additionally, they did not believe he had taken any food or water with him.  
The Sheriff’s Office activated the Tactical Response Team (TRT) to conduct a ground search of the area. Members of the Upper Ojai Search and Rescue Team responded to the Command Post and assisted TRT by using their area knowledge to determine the search area where they believed the subject would be.  TRT utilized four-wheel drive vehicles and hiking teams to search the area from Pratt Trail to Gridley Trail.  The Sheriff’s Air Unit used helicopters to perform a secondary search of the area.
The Sheriff’s Office Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Team also responded to the area to assist with the search.  The UAVs utilize a FLIR camera system that reads heat signatures.  This resource is useful at night when visibility is difficult due to darkness.
At approximately 7:00 PM, the juvenile was found on the Foothill Trail, over 2 miles from where he was last seen.  The juvenile was reunited with his mother and transported to Ojai Valley Community Hospital where he was medically evaluated.
The search was successful due to the quick response and coordination of various Sheriff’s Office resources. They worked together to formulate and deploy a plan that led to the safe recovery of the juvenile.
Prepared by: Deputy J. Havelka  
News Release Date: 06/03/2021  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Captain Jose Rivera, [email protected], (805) 646-1414  
Approved by:
Captain Jose Rivera

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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