Search and Rescue finds missing Willits teens


A report by LCSO Lt. Patrick McMahon stated that the sheriff's office received a report at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office that Zach Green, 18, and a 17-year-old male juvenile – both Willits residents – were lost in the Cow Mountain Recreation Area, west of Lakeport.

Green and the 17-year-old had reportedly been riding off-road motorcycles in the area and became lost. They then called for help via a cell phone to report that they also had run out of gas.

McMahon reported that deputies assigned to the Lake County Search and Rescue unit responded to the area and coordinated search efforts by members of the Search and Rescue team and rangers from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

It soon became apparent to rescuers, however, that the two were not at the location they had reported and assistance was requested from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department for that agency's helicopter.

The helicopter arrived at the scene at approximately 9:15 p.m. and commenced a search of the area.

Utilizing night vision equipment the crew of the helicopter was able to locate the pair after approximately one hour of searching. Searchers estimated the two were approximately two miles from their originally reported location.

All units were clear of the area by 11 p.m., according to McMahon.

McMahon's report noted that LCSO appreciated the cooperative efforts of BLM and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and thanked them for their assistance.