Avid Filipino hunter goes missing in California forest

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Sept. 2, 2013

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – The family and loved-ones of 72-year old Gene Penaflor are asking the community for help in looking for him. This father of two and grandfather of one has been missing since Tuesday, September 24.

Gene, an avid hunter, left his home in Bernal Heights, San Francisco on Monday, September 23, to go to a deer hunting trip with his hunting partner at the Mendocino National Forest. Both were supposed to meet up at noon for lunch after their morning hunt, but Gene never showed up.

In an email to Balitang America, Jeremy Penaflor, one of Gene’s sons, said that a missing person report has been filed on Gene. The Lake County Sheriffs Department began a search for him Wednesday afternoon until nightfall. He said there were 11 counties (including Lake, Solano, Glenn, Tehama, Marin, Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, Siskiyou, San Mateo counties) that participated in the search operation, which included helicopters and four canine units.

The search for Gene, which continued through Saturday afternoon, was suspended due to anticipated rain in the forest.

“At the end of the search, they informed us they did their best, but unfortunately there were no leads. They told us that the case is not closed; the search would continue after the rains stop, but the resources would not be as much as these past four days,” said Jeremy.

Jeremy shared that Gene has been an avid hunter for 30 years. “He is a man who is capable of survival skills and extremely knowledgeable about the wilderness. He had a rifle with him when he went hunting, according to his hunting partner of 10 years, Ben . The signal for help was three quick successive shots. Ben never heard those shots and it was unlikely and out of character for Gene to be late for lunch, since they have been hunting in this particular area for at least seven years,” he shared.

Jeremy said that Gene is in good health and has no medical condition.

Gene is 5 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 133 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

For any information or leads, the public may contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department at (707) 463-4411 or Jeremy Penaflor, Gene’s son at (415) 533-0000.

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