Volunteers Continue Search for California Dad and Ultra Marathon Runner Philip Kreycik, Now a Missing Person
Philip Kreycik, 37, went missing about 11 a.m. Saturday in the the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park in East Bay. Kreycik came to the park to complete an 8-mile run and parked his car at the Moller Trail staging area.
A California father of two and ultra marathon runner went out for what was supposed to be a quick morning run in the Pleasanton hills and never returned, leading a widespread search-and-rescue mission to bring the man home.
Philip Kreycik, 37, went missing about 11 a.m. Saturday in the the Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park in East Bay. Kreycik came to the park to complete an 8-mile run and parked his car at the Moller Trail staging area. Kreycik's wallet and phone were in his car, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
His wife reported him missing when he did not arrive at the scheduled time to meet his family. She told the authorities that her husband was planning to be gone for only an hour. That was when the Pleasanton Police Department called on local resources to help search the ridge, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's office.
Since Saturday, more than 13 local agencies and hundreds of volunteers have searched the steep and rugged terrain for Kreycik, who is described as an extreme cross country trail runner. Authorities said they believe he can survive in extreme conditions and is knowledgeable of the rural terrain and outdoor environments.
The day he went to the ridge for a run, temperatures soared to 106 degrees.
Sgt. Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff’s told Inside Edition Digital that Wednesday marked the fifth and final day of an exhaustive search that has not yielded results.
“We usually find people who are missing within a few hours, maybe 24 hours at most; this is unusual,” said Kelly, who explained that Kreycik has a high survivability rating. "He is EMT-trained and has prior experience in the wilderness and in brutal terrain."
Since Saturday hundreds of search and rescue crews have been conducting aerial and ground searches using high tech sonar equipment, K-9’s, fixed-wing aircraft, and drones as they searched up to 50 square miles of brush and tough terrain.
The search was deemed “unprecedented in scope” for that amount of people that has been involved, explained Kelly.
“We have covered more terrain than we ever have and still have come up without a trace," he said.
During the search, crews have found watches and sunglasses, and some stumbled on drops of blood, but it was determined to be from an animal. There was a faint scream reported but when searchers went to investigate, it was unfounded, Kelly said.
At a press briefing on Wednesday, Pleasanton Police Lt. Erik Silacci discussed a few possible scenarios at play, including the possibility that Kreyick is still somewhere up in the ridge and is “unresponsive,” or he isn’t up in the Pleasanton hills and is somewhere else.
“We’ve played every scenario in our head,” Kelly said. “It was a rescue operation and now it is looking more like a missing person’s case."
Kreycik, who is described by his family and friends as a “brilliant guy,” went to Harvard and MIT. He works for PG&E on infrastructure transportation electrification. In an interview, Kreycik's wife, Jen Yao, told KGO-ABC 7 News that "it takes every molecule in my body to stay in the moment," as she takes care of their two young children, a 10-month-old and three-year-old.
"He's out there and he's alive and he's waiting for us," she said. "And, maybe he's dehydrated, maybe injured, delirious."
Detectives have interviewed friends and family, trying to piece together the timeline leading up to Kreycik’s disappearance, KPIX 5 CBS News reported.
The Facebook group, “Find Philip Kreycik,” has seen nearly 8,000 individuals become members since it was created on Monday.
Volunteer Sandy Schneider told Inside Edition Digital that she tapped into her own Facebook group that has more than 6,000 members to help in the search.
“I started blasting Facebook groups, Pleasanton Community, that are focused on hiking, e-biking, mountain biking, rock climbing, local running and athletic groups and got the word out to 200,000 to 300,000 people,” Schneider said. “It has been an incredible turnout. And, it just grew and people started sharing and its been growing.”
Since the first day of the operation, they’ve had up to 300 volunteers working in tandem with formal agencies, she said.
“Everyone has rolled up their sleeves,” Schneider said. “We’ve done it in a very systematized fashion where we are registering people and having them check back in.”
Schneider said all the grocery stores in Pleasanton have contributed and donated food to about 500 people for the last three days. And, many of the local businesses and organizations have donated meals, snacks and water, while local pizzerias have been sending over food.
“We are going to keep going,” Schneider said. “We’ve still have got a lot of momentum for volunteers to come and hike and do what can they can to help.”
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