Berkeley, CA

New theory about path of Berkeley's missing father-of-two prompts search to resume

Josue Torres
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Philip Kreycik.Search Volunteers.

The search for a Berkeley father of two who went for a run in the hills above Pleasanton was resumed Saturday, with search and rescue crews rappelling into steep ravines and cutting through difficult terrain in the hopes of bringing closure to his family and friends.

Philip Kreycik, 37, has been missing since the morning of July 10, when he left his house for what would have been an hour-long jog at East Bay Regional Park for the seasoned runner. He never returned home.

Jen Yao, Kreycik’s wife, reported him missing that day, and a search was launched within hours.

His wallet and phone were discovered in his vehicle, which was parked in a cul-de-sac near the trailhead.

The formal search was reduced after law enforcement search teams and relatives and friends searched the trail area and surrounding terrain for any clues, but didn’t find anything.

Interviewing individuals who knew him, including colleagues at the Clean Energy Solutions Center, a government-sponsored organization, became the focus of the search.

After a study of previously searched locations and interviews with experienced runners to evaluate what Kreycik may have done on the very hot day he went for the run, 125 professional search and rescues from around Northern California met again on Saturday to continue the search.

Keith Kreycik, Kreycik’s father, was in the parking lot of Foothill High School, near the official command center, Saturday morning with community volunteers organizing search operations. 

He remained silent, simply stating that they still have hope.

At a local farmers’ market, whiteboards displayed volunteer drone operators and flyer distribution strategies.

According to Pleasanton police Lt. Chris Niederhaus, the search area in the Pleasanton Ridge section of the East Bay Regional Park includes a location between a footprint discovered on a path two weeks ago and the parking area where Kreycik parked his vehicle.

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Moller Range Trailhead was one of the searched locations.Search Volunteers.

Niederhaus said that this is another theory, he may have gone in a different direction.

Although the region had previously been investigated, authorities concluded that there were still areas of the Tejan Creek area where he might be.

Local runners informed police that taking a shortcut back to their starting point and bushwhacking through an area to get back to their vehicles is not unusual

Kreycik may have done the same, swerving off the train into tiny, steep slopes.

Niederhaus remarked that theory it’s not out of the range of possibilities.

An Alameda County search and rescue volunteer, Angela Hale was out on the hill with her dog Riggs for a few hours Saturday morning, scouring steep drainages covered in slippery leaves, she said.

Riggs, who had been trained to detect the smell of human remains, found nothing in their designated area.

Hale said they want to locate him, they’ve come to support his family and friends.

Niederhaus described the situation as frustrating.

Drones, infrared imagery, troops on the ground, and hundreds of search dogs were deployed, but nothing has been found. 

He also said that there is no indication of a mountain lion attack or any incident on the route.

According to Niederhaus, an ongoing inquiry has revealed no evidence of wrongdoing.

He said they want to provide answers to the family so badly. They will keep doing what they can.

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