Search suspended for missing Santa Rosa couple


The Civil Air Patrol suspended the search Monday in the Sierra Nevada mountains for a plane with two Santa Rosa residents on board that never arrived at the Petaluma Municipal Airport a week ago.

Brenda Richard, 53, the pilot, and her husband Mark Richard, 54, left the Truckee-Tahoe Airport in Truckee in their blue and white Socata TB-20 Trinidad plane at 4 p.m. April 17. They were due to arrive that evening.

During the six-day search CAP aircrews from California and Nevada conducted visual and photographic searches for more than 60 flight hours over a heavily-wooded and snow-covered area 18 miles northwest of Truckee.

CAP Incident Commander Major Shane Terpstra said in a news release Monday morning:

“We are extremely disappointed in the outcome of this search. … We always hope for a fast resolution with missing aircraft searches, but rapidly changing weather compounded with fresh snow worked against us this entire search. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

The Richards have four daughters.

More than 117 CAP volunteers, 15 CAP aircraft and 12 CAP vehicles participated in the search.

The California Highway Patrol and California National Guard also searched under the command of the Sierra County Sheriff’s Office, which suspended its search Sunday night.

Volunteers on the ground reviewed more than 8,000 high-resolution digital images of the search area. The photos were taken by wing-mounted cameras on CAP search planes.


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