EL DORADO COUNTY (CBS13) — An artist by trade, Jim Bowers is on his first search-and-rescue mission.
He was asked by the family of missing Colfax resident Eric Garcia to help search the rugged and steep terrain between Rancho Murieta and Colfax.
That three-county search through sometimes impassable terrain is being made easier with Bowers’ use of a quad-copter drone equipped with a GoPro camera.
“Figure what the heck, I enjoy flying, and might get lucky and spot him out there somewhere,” Bowers said.
He’s able to search miles of rugged El Dorado County terrain without taking a single step as the drone transmits what the camera sees to his goggles in real time.
“I can see down through the trees and look around for anything that looks like it might be a different color, or out of place,” he said.
It’s a grim search for 49-year-old Garcia, a father of two engaged to be married. He left early Saturday morning to get his wallet in Colfax in snowy and icy conditions. He hasn’t been heard from since.
In the waning moments of daylight, Jim tries one last spot before nightfall.
“All we can do is keep looking” he said. “If he’s anywhere between Folsom and Auburn, and he’s where I can spot him, I’m gonna find him.”
Garcia was driving a late 90s, tan Plymouth Breeze. The search will resume on Friday in the last area his cellphone had service before it shut off days ago.