Pinoy deerhunter goes missing in California forest
REDWOOD CITY, California – The family and loved-ones of 72-year-old Gene Penaflor are asking the community for help in looking for him. The father of 2, and grandfather of 1, has been missing since Tuesday, September 24.
Penaflor, 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 he never showed up.
In an email to Balitang America, Jeremy Penaflor, one of his sons, said that a missing person report has been filed.
The Lake County Sheriff's 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 Penaflor, 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," his son said.
His son shared that his father 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.
He added that his father is in good health and has no medical condition.
Penaflor 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.