Clifton and Lane Missing, Both are considered missing and At-Risk
A couple is missing between the areas of Citrus Heights and Gardnerville, Nev., officials said Monday.
Roderick Paul Clifton and Paula Lane vanished Thursday.
Roderick Clifton, 44, and Paula Lane, 46, haven’t been seen since leaving Citrus Heights on Thursday on the way to Lane’s home in Gardnerville. Neither has a history of being missing. Both are considered missing and at-risk.
Calls to the cellphones of Clifton and Lane — who has two 11-year-old boys in Gardnerville — have gone answered. Both phones appear to be turned off. And with reception through the mountainous area spotty, investigators have been unable to electronically track the couple’s whereabouts.
The last family and friends saw the couple was when they were at a Citrus Heights 7-Eleven filling up their tank.
It’s a desperate time for Lois Clifton as she waits to learn the fate of her son and his girlfriend. They’ve been dating since the summer.
“He left here on Thursday when he got finished and told me he would call me when he got over the summit, which means when he got to Paula’s house,” Lois said Monday.
Roderick’s family waited for the call.
“And I haven’t heard from him since,” she said.
They were on the road right before the storm hit. The couple usually travels on Highway 50 on the way to Nevada.
Was the driving rain and snow a factor? Lois fears the worse.
“Maybe they went off the side of the road somewhere, maybe laying in a ditch somewhere, a car rolled over or something, or maybe they were hurt or maybe dead,” she said.
The gut-wrenching wait and worry has been made even worse right before the holidays.
“I need to know if he’s alright or if I’ll ever see him again,” she said.
Throughout the weekend ground officers from the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, Alpine County Sheriff’s Department and the California Highway Patrol, and the Douglas County County Sheriff’s Department in Nevada as well as families and friends of the missing pair searched their route for them.
On Monday, the El Dorado County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Unit coordinated an aerial search by a CHP Helicopter and snow machine search of roads in the Sierras closed due to snow. The CHP air crew searched the routes most likely taken by Clifton and Lane through El Dorado and Alpine Counties. Search efforts Tuesday also were unsuccessful and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office said the search may be exhausted unless new information turns up.
Citrus Heights Police Department investigators have found no evidence of criminal activity or that Clifton and Lane have met with foul play. A search of credit card and cell phone activity has not produced any leads on their whereabouts.
The search area includes the Highway 50 and Highway 88 corridors, along with all the roads in between, said Sgt. Jim Byers, of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department.
The U.S. Forest Service is involved, as well, Byers said. Weather conditions might have played a role in the disappearances, as storms dropped snow and rain onto Northern California last week.
The pair may be in a dark-blue 1989 Jeep Cherokee with a license plate that reads 4VPB789.
Anybody with information is asked to call the Citrus Heights Police Department at 916-727-4785.