A Colfax man who went missing Dec. 8, prompting a massive multi-county search, was found dead in his vehicle Sunday night.
Eric Garcia, 39, was identified by the Placer County Coroner’s Office late Sunday night. His vehicle had gone off Interstate 80, near the Weimar exit. His car apparently flipped and ended upside down at the bottom of a steep embankment, according to a spokeswoman from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. Due to the snow and ice conditions earlier in the week, locating Garcia’s car was very difficult. The CHP is handling the accident investigation.
Garcia was found inside his vehicle at 5 p.m. Sunday by the Placer County Sheriff’s search and rescue motorcycle team and the California Highway Patrol.
Search and rescue teams had searched the rural roads of Placer County last week, using 4-by-4 teams, helicopters and patrol deputies.
On Sunday, the motorcycle team, working with the CHP, did a “slow search” along I-80, looking for any signs of an accident. Just before it got dark Sunday evening, the team discovered the 1999 Plymouth Breeze at the bottom of a steep hill.
Garcia was reported missing to the Placer County Sheriff’s Department Dec. 7 after not arriving on a trip from Rancho Murietta to Colfax.
A preliminary investigation indicates the Plymouth drove off the roadway, collided with a tree, then continued to slide down the embankment, according to the CHP.
No other vehicles appear to be involved. The exact time of the collision is still under investigation.