Wednesday, 24 July 2024

Friends search for man missing since last week

Bryan Scobey was last seen by coworkers on Wednesday, January 13, 2010. Courtesy photo.




SONOMA COUNTY – A former Lake County resident who went missing a week ago has become the focus of an intense search by friends and family, who are marshaling online resources from around the country in an effort to locate him.

Bryan Scobey, 35, of Santa Rosa was last seen on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 13, after he set out to keep appointments for his employer, Hitmen Termite & Pest Control Inc. of Santa Rosa.

The 1992 Lower Lake High School graduate, who claimed Clearlake as his hometown, was reported missing when he didn't return at day's end, according to his friends.

Sgt. Tim Duke of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Offices Violent Crimes Investigation Unit said Tuesday that the agency has been working the case “pretty much around the clock.”

“I have a lot of angles to work on this case,” said Duke, adding, “We're not done yet.”

Bob Ramme, a longtime friend of Scobey's, said if Scobey decided to just take a holiday, that's OK, but he appealed to his friend to make contact with at least one person, and that his friends will respect that decision.

“We just want to know that he's OK,” said Ramme. “That's all that we want to know.”

Scobey is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs 230 pounds. He is described as a Caucasian with olive skin and brown eyes. He is bald, but has a dark mustache and groomed goatee.

He was driving a white 2008 GMC Canyon Hitmen Pest Control truck with a ladder rack, bright orange extension ladder and aluminum took box, according to a flyer distributed by his friends.

The truck features the company logo and the words “orange oil specialists” in bright orange letters. The vehicle's license plate is 8R05342.

Hitmen Termite & Pest Control Inc. did not respond to Lake County News' request for a comment Tuesday.

The global positioning system on the truck placed Scobey at Highways 12 and 121 in Sonoma, but a search of the area by deputies and the sheriff's Henry-1 helicopter, as well as thermal imaging equipment, didn't turn up any sign of him, according to Ramme.

Searches of the area conducted by groups of Scobey's friends also found no trace, Ramme said.

Another search party is getting set to look for Scobey in the Sonoma. Ramme said the time and location of the search will be disclosed on Wednesday.

Ramme, of Modesto, and Randy Hill of Texas, a former roommate of Scobey's, both have been working long distance – and long hours – on the case.

Both men post regular updates to the “Friends of Bryan Scobey” Facebook page, , which Ramme created shortly after Scobey's disappearance.

On Tuesday, Ramme spoke with Lake County News as he was traveling to Santa Rosa to speak with a private investigator who was being hired through funds raised, in part, on the Facebook page.

Late Tuesday, the page already had nearly 1,400 friends, many of them from across the United States. The page is filled with prayers and messages to Scobey, as well as updates on the situation. A MySpace page, , also has been updated with information on his case.

Another Web site,, is expected to be up and running Wednesday evening, Hill announced on the Facebook page late Tuesday.

The outpouring of support for Scobey has proved true a passage he wrote on his MySpace page last year: “I have no doubt that I have the most loyal, consistent and loving friends that any one person could have.”

Ramme said he's trying to figure out the puzzle of what happened to his friend, who he's known for about 16 years.

According to what Scobey's coworkers have told Ramme, Jan. 13 started off like a normal day, with Scobey being “the same old Bryan” – a positive, encouraging and energetic man, Ramme said.

Scobey's coworkers, the last people known to have spoken to him, didn't notice anything different about his demeanor before he left for appointments with customers, according to Ramme.

Ramme said gas card records showed that Scobey filled up the truck before going to his first appointment. The GMC Canyon truck has a 19-gallon gas tank, which – when full – has a range of between about 300 and 450 miles, an estimate based on manufacturer mileage specifications.

Scobey is believed to have finished that first appointment before driving up into the area of Highway 12 and 121, where the GPS last recorded his location, Ramme said.

At about 8:30 a.m., Scobey turned off his company cell phone – he didn't have a personal cell phone – which is something Ramme said he only usually did after going home at night.

Since then, there has been no credit card, bank account or cell phone activity, said Ramme. Law enforcement has checked all ticket sales for area airports, trains and buses.

Scobey's friends also have been checking longterm parking areas of airports around the region and handing out flyers, which are available on the Facebook page. A search party last went out on Monday, with no results.

Another friend, Jody Galvan, said Tuesday she was similarly baffled by the disappearance of Scobey.

Galvan said she's known Scobey for a long time, although they haven't been in touch often over the last several years.

Addressing speculation that he may have run away, Galvan said, “I know people change, but the Bryan I knew would never run away – from anything or anyone. He's a spiritual, easy going, go-with-the-flow kind of guy and would much rather work through something that was bothering him, than run from it.”

She said because they've not been in contact much recently, she can't know for sure what's in his head. In the mean time, she's holding onto the hope that Scobey “is simply taking a break from life, and has not gone missing at the hand of someone else.”

When Ramme last spoke to Scobey in November, Ramme said his friend was doing OK and nothing seemed amiss.

Like most people these days, Scobey was facing tight finances, especially after Trina, his wife of more than 10 years, was laid off of her job.

Scobey also had recently reconnected with a brother in Kansas and a sister in Colorado who Ramme said he hadn't mentioned before. Ramme said Scobey's siblings haven't seen him, either.

“This is so far outside of his character, to just take off,” said Ramme.

On Scobey's personal MySpace page, , he referred to his nickname, “DJ Hitman,” which is the name he used for his disk jockey business.

In posts he placed on the page last September, Scobey described himself as a happily married man who called his wife “my best friend.” He also talked about his three teenage stepchildren and spoke proudly of his job.

Describing himself as a Christian, he had several blog posts in which he described how to be truly caring in a relationship as well as sharing his thoughts on music.

Ramme said he wasn't aware of any drug or alcohol issues that might have led Scobey to do something out of character.

None of his friends have reported receiving any messages of any kind, even cryptic ones.

“We could only wish,” said Ramme.

That leads to fears of foul play.

“There was no threats that anybody could speak of,” said Ramme.

He added, “He owed a couple people some money, but nothing major.”

Disappearances of adults aren't uncommon, according to statistics compiled by the California Department of Justice.

In 2008, there were approximately 34,236 missing adult cases statewide, with more than 28,000 of those people being located or returning on their own. More than 1,500 others were voluntarily missing.

For that year in Sonoma County, there were 409 missing persons reports, of which 365 turned up in some fashion, including 15 who were voluntarily missing. In Lake County in 2008, there were 51 person reports, all of which appeared to have later been found, based on reports.

Anyone who sees the Hitman Termite & Pest Control Inc. truck is urged not to touch it. Instead, immediately call the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office by dialing 911 or 707-565-2121.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

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