Search ramps up for missing Grass Valley man |

Search ramps up for missing Grass Valley man

On Friday, a grim search began along Rough and Ready Highway and Ridge Road for 26-year-old Joseph “Joey” McCormack, missing since mid-May. As of Monday afternoon, the search coordinated by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office had produced no results.

“I’m praying he’s alive,” said mom Heather McCormack. “I love him so much and just want to find him … My heart is breaking.”

Search and Rescue teams from Nevada County, Yuba County, Placer County and Solano County sheriff’s offices, along with the California Rescue Dog Association, assisted in the effort, after detectives from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit and Special Investigations Unit developed investigative leads surrounding Joey McCormack’s disappearance, spokesman Andrew Trygg stated in a press release.

Joey McCormack was reported missing by his family to the Grass Valley Police Department on May 26, and has not been located, Trygg said. Anyone with additional information is urged to call the Nevada County Regional Dispatch Center at 530-265-7880 and request to speak with a detective working this investigation.

Heather McCormack said she last heard from Joey on May 11, adding it was unusual for him to go longer than a week without sending family members a message.

“He’s very social, he’s always on social media,” she said. “But since May 11, he hasn’t touched any of that — and he always checks in with me because he knows I would worry.”

On May 26, Heather McCormack was contacted by someone who told her something had happened to Joey. She would not be more specific, citing the ongoing investigation.

Joey’s father, Joe McCormack, said his son had been staying in Grass Valley at the time and so the family went to the police department before information came in that led to the case being transferred to the county.

The family started a GoFundMe to help pay for flyers and possibly hire a private investigator.

“We’ve flyered in Sacramento, Roseville, Lincoln, Marysville,” Heather McCormack said. “We’ve had so many sightings, in Sacramento, all the way to Texas. … So many people are trying (to find him), but none of the sightings have been him.”

The last time Joey was heard from for sure was in Grass Valley, Joe McCormack said, adding, “Everything after that has been ‘he said, she said’ type of stuff.”

Joey McCormack lost his car in February and was traveling on foot, his parents said, adding that he would turn to family if he needed help.

“He knew he always had a safe place to go,” Joe McCormack said.

Heather McCormack said it was not typical for Joey to hide out for any reason.

“He’s never, in his whole life, disappeared,” she said.

And Joey, his parents agreed, was not the type to go silent.

“That was a big red flag for everybody,” Joe McCormack said. “He’s a very social kid. He grew up here, he was in FFA, he was friends with everybody.”

Joey McCormack is 5-foot-5 and weighs 100 to 110 pounds, with wavy brown hair that was just past his shoulders when last seen. He typically wears jeans, hoodies or T-shirts, skater shoes and flat-brim baseball caps. And, said Heather McCormack, he usually has a backpack and was last seen with one that was black and “tactical” in style.

“We have saturated Facebook, the internet, missing persons sites,” Joe McCormack said. “I think that helped shake the tree, to get some leads. … The most important thing for me right now is finding Joey.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User