DIAMOND SPRINGS (CBS13) — Don Maurischat, 82, went out for his usual walk in Diamond Springs five days ago but never came home. Now the National Guard is stepping in to help look for him.
The search involves dozens of people, including crews from as far as the Bay Area. Don suffers from dementia and the search is urgent.
He used to be a farmer and hunter.
“He’s very physically fit for a gentleman his age,” said Leah Yaws, a close family friend and paramedic in Diamond Springs.
Don now spends his days hiking. But sadly, he never came back from his last hike Sunday afternoon in an area known as the Diamond Dam. CHP and the National Guard are out in full force searching dense terrain for a man very much loved by his community.
“These people are like family to me. And to a lot of other people. They’re adoptive grandparents, brother, sister,” Yaws said.
Yaws said on a daily basis, up to 70 people are searching using ATVs, quads and horses.
Diamond Springs resident Alicia Ware and her horse Riley are helping search the narrow paths and creeks that vehicles may not be able to get to.
“You can see on top of everything and you might as well have everybody going out there as much as possible,” she said.
Don was last seen at his home off of Forest Lake Road wearing what friends call his usual uniform, a denim shirt and a straw hat.
“With his age, and he does suffer from dementia, he’s lost some of the things he enjoys. So he’s really clinged to those outdoor hikes and walks,” Yaws said.
His wife first reported him missing and right now friends said she’s focused on staying hopeful. Don went missing in this same area two years ago, but hiked almost seven miles and found help. His family and friends have faith he will be reunited with his wife in his home once again.
“They have spent their life helping other people and they’re super independent and they resist help from others and we just want to help them,” Yaws said.
Anyone who spots Don should contact the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.
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