UPDATE: 1/23/10 @ 7:30 PST: Ryan and Viola have been found, scared, thirsty, hungry, cold — AND SAFE! Thanks to all who helped publicize this story.
[For the latest information about Ryan and Viola’s whereabouts, please click here.]
This has been a wild weather week in California, with rain, snow, sleet, hail, thunder and lightening, etc. Usually, I enjoy this weather. Right now, I find it very worrisome, because close friends of mine are deeply, deeply worried that their nephew and his girlfriend may be trapped somewhere because of this extreme weather. Ryan and Viola left Saturday for a two night camping trip, and haven’t been heard from since. They are very responsible people, and their prolonged silence is ominous.
The family thinks they’re most likely in the Sierras but, really, they could be anywhere in California. Since my friends know I blog, they’ve asked me to put the word out in the blogosphere, just in case any of you in California (or Western Nevada) might have seen Ryan and Viola. Here’s the press release that’s going out today:
Ryan Barrett and his girlfriend, Viola Liu left on Saturday, January 16, at 2:00 p.m. to go camping with their three dogs (2 huskies & a lab) in his red 2005 Toyota Tacoma pick up truck (with shell.) They were scheduled to return home on Monday evening, January 18, 2010. We have not heard from them. We need your help. We filed the attached missing persons report on Wednesday, January, 20, 2010 in the early morning with the Fremont police. The problem is Ryan did not tell us where they were going. Ryan told his father, “We think we’ll go to the Sierra Nevada to play in the snow.” We fear they were caught in the storm.
The police need leads. Our families need leads. We need you to broadcast this to your audience as soon as possible in the hope that someone saw them and we can focus our search efforts. KCBS has already run the story, but I need to reach more people and so many people get their news on line.
Ryan is a white 31 year old male, 5’9″, blue eyes, brown hair, and his smile lights up the room.
Viola is a Chinese-American woman, slim, 31 years old female, 5’7″, brown eyes, brown hair with highlights and a quiet beauty. (The photo makes it look like her hair is blondish, it isn’t)
Ryan is familiar with the mountains, very strong and brought a tent, sleeping bags, camping gear, dog food, freeze dried food and water.
We have been looking for them since Monday.
Thank you for your help.
If you have any information about Ryan or Viola, please contact the Fremont Police Department, at 510.790.6800. This is the police report, with a picture of Ryan, Viola, and their three dogs:
I just want to add here that, knowing what I do of Ryan and Viola, it’s reasonable to believe that they’re just stuck somewhere. They might be cold, hungry and a little scared, but they’re just waiting it out. But waiting it out is most helpful if the rescuers know where to look, and that’s where your help comes in.
UPDATE: Here’s a link to the story in the SF Chronicle. Please don’t confuse the phrase “free spirits” in the paper with stupid or careless. They’re neither. The only thing that they did that was really foolish was in not letting someone know their itinerary — which should be a reminder to us all that, if you go on a trip, you should always leave word about where you went.