‘Frustrated and perplexed’: Massive search for missing Bay Area runner yields nothing

Hundreds of professional searchers, dozens of law enforcement officers, search dogs, drones, planes equipped with thermal imaging equipment, hundreds more volunteers and nine long days in the East Bay hills have yielded nothing. 

Philip Kreycik, the 37-year-old Berkeley runner who disappeared in Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park on July 10, has still not been found. 

“We truly feel we have done an enormous effort covering all possible scenarios during the past eight days,” Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Sunday evening. “Like the community, we are frustrated and perplexed that this massive effort has yielded no results. We feel we should have found Philip by now.”

A glimmer of hope was quickly dismissed after “cries” were heard in a canyon in the park on day 4. Despite a friend of Kreycik’s confirming the sound, authorities later said it was not the missing runner. A discarded T-shirt was also found over the weekend, but again, authorities verified through a family member that it did not belong to Philip. 

Philip Kreycik, 37, of Berkeley, Calif. Photo shared on “Find Philip Kreycik” Facebook group. Facebook / Find Philip Kreycik

“We re-checked areas we had searched before that had limited access. We wanted to go back in to those difficult areas to be 100% sure. These areas included deep ravines with high angle rope teams traversing the steep terrain. We also searched private property areas, adjacent park land, to make sure we were exhausting every possible scenario,” Kelly said in the statement. “We followed up on 72 hours worth of tips and leads that came in from police and community reports.”

Kreycik’s family is still holding onto hope that Philip may be alive but disoriented, possibly in an outlying barn or building. They have urged residents to check their properties. 

“I think the saying goes that your life can change in an instant. That’s exactly what happened to us,” Kreycik’s wife Jen Yao told NBC News this weekend. “Your life can change just like that. I want everyone to hug your families, care for each other and help us bring him home.”

Meanwhile, a now 10,000 member-strong Facebook group, Find Philip Kreycik, is continuing to organize search teams and advise on next steps. 

Kreycik, an analyst for PG&E and avid runner, parked his car near the Moller Ranch staging area around 11 a.m. on July 10, after telling his wife he was going for an hourlong run in the East Bay Regional Park. When he didn’t return home as expected, his wife reported him missing at 2 p.m. Saturday. His car was found undisturbed, with his wallet and cell phone in it, police say. It is unclear if Kreycik carried any water with him.

Temperatures in the area hit a soaring 105 degrees on the day Kreycik went missing. The terrain in the park, which spans a large area between Pleasanton and Hayward in the East Bay Regional Park District, is rugged and steep, and the creeks are currently without much water. 

A strong runner with no known health conditions, Kreycik is described as white, with a thin build and brown hair and eyes. He is thought to be wearing running attire.

“Phillip is still missing and we want to find him,” Sgt. Kelly added yesteday.

Anyone with information about Kreycik’s location is asked to contact the Pleasanton Police Department at 925-931-5100.

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