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Abandoned vehicle leads to search for missing man



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April 16, 2014
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department's Valley Center Substation is actively searching the area around Lake Wohlford for a missing man who has been identified as 43-year-old Michael Raymond Reeder.

CHP and Lake Wohlford Rangers discovered Reeder's empty vehicle parked in a secluded area on Oakvale Road on April 8. The abandoned vehicle had actually been at the location for three days prior, according to Lt. Dan Breslin of the Valley Center Sheriff Office Substation.

"It had been there for almost a week before we moved on it," said Breslin. "CHP actually found it and put a 72 hour hold on it."

The Sheriff's Search and Rescue unit was contacted to begin a search. Then, on April 11, San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDCSD) received a call from the Atwater Police Department notifying them of a missing persons report filed by Reeder's mother, who lives in Northern California, Breslin told the Valley Roadrunner in a recent phone interview.

Reeder's acquaintances have indicated that he has been known to spend time in the area and that foul play is not suspected at this time, according to an April 11 press release issued by SDCSD.

On April 11, Search and Rescue searched the area with approximately 20 personnel. The search was suspended at sunset. On April 12, Search and Rescue had approximately 80 personnel, including K9s, mounted, and the Sheriff's Dive Team searching the area around and in Lake Wohlford. Other agencies assisting the search effort were the Lake Wohlford Rangers, USBP BORSTAR, and Red Cross.

"Now it's just law enforcement personnel who are searching for him," Breslin said, noting that new information on Reeder included a history of violence and known drug use. "He has acquaintances around the Lake Wohlford area so for the safety of the volunteers, I pulled them."

Breslin said SDCSD doesn't know for certain that Reeder is actually in the area and that an ASTREA helicopter is currently being utilized in the search.

"All we are working off of is an abandoned vehicle," Breslin said. "We don't know that he went hiking. We don't know that he actually went out there. We are just making sure we cover all of our bases and make sure we exhaust every effort to try and find this individual."

Reeder is described as a white male, 6 feet tall and 230 pounds. If anyone has seen Reeder, or has information on his whereabouts, they should contact the SDCSD at (858) 565-5200.

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