Search underway for missing Vietnam vet
Friends and family members have been scouring the roadways between Grass Valley and Colfax, looking for a local Vietnam veteran who went missing sometime after the early morning hours of April 15.
So far, there have been few clues as to the possible whereabouts of Stan Norman, who has health issues and has been without his medication. Norman, a Lake of the Pines resident, drives a 2006 gunmetal gray Hummer adorned with Vietnam Veteran/Airborne stickers and with California plates. His male apricot toy poodle, Koko, also is missing.
A Facebook page has been created by friend Kristen Day to share information about Norman, who was last seen by friends belonging to the American Legion Riders.
Day said she has known Norman for about a year, adding, “I’ve come to adore him. This is just so devastating.”
Norman attended a barbecue on April 14, then went with friends to McGee’s in Nevada City. He was positively identified via surveillance video at Bonanza Market in Nevada City between 10:24 p.m. and 10:44 p.m. Saturday, said his sons, David Chappell and Kamalama Kaluhiokalani.
He reportedly went to another friend’s house in the South Auburn and East Empire street area and spent the night. Those in attendance went to sleep some time around 4 a.m.
“He was last seen Sunday morning,” said Nevada County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Jakobs. “He left his friend’s house and has not been seen or heard from since.”
Sometime after 9 a.m. on April 15, Norman’s cell phone pinged off several cell phone towers along the Highway 174 corridor. Reports that Norman was seen at the Red Frog in Colfax on Sunday have not been confirmed. Day said she went to the bar, but the weekend bartender could not be sure if he had been there.
“We’re waiting to see the security footage,” she said.
Norman was reported missing to the Sheriff’s Office on April 18, Jakobs said. Sheriff’s deputies have searched along the Highway 174 corridor, and information was passed along to Placer County. The California Highway Patrol was contacted and has done at least one overflight, Jakobs said.
The cell phone records were inconclusive and show travel through an area that spans 20 to 30 square miles, Jakobs said.
“We have no good location in which to search,” he said. “We’ve done what we can with the information we have.”
Jakobs said there is no indication that Norman has voluntarily gone missing, adding that he is an insulin-dependent diabetic and has high blood pressure and that he left his medications at home. His sons said he has lived in the area for five years and knows his way around.
Teams of searchers have checked out Tokayana Way through Colfax, Mount Olive Road, Lower Colfax, Rattlesnake, Dog Bar and Magnolia roads all the way to Lake of the Pines, as well as roads around Rollins Lake. Volunteers were being sought with four-wheel drives to check the Greenhorn area, as well as private pilots to take overflights. And all of the shelters in Nevada and Placer counties have been checked, with no sign of Koko.
“We’ve been looking on all the roads between Nevada City and Lake of the Pines,” Chappell said. “Over the last several days, just driving up and down. We are renting a helicopter (Tuesday).”
Norman’s cell phone is not on, his bank cards have not been used and his bank accounts have not been accessed.
His sons say that Norman would always check in if he was going out of town, and that it would be unusual for him not to leave any electronic trace.
“He’s always on the phone and on Facebook,” Chappell said. “He talks to a lot of people every day.”
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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