Law enforcement have all but concluded their search for Philip Kreycik, a Berkeley runner who was reported missing in the Pleasanton hills on Saturday, but volunteers continue to scour the area of Moller Ranch for any sign of the 37-year-old man.
Kreycik, an avid runner and hiker who lives with his family in Berkeley, drove to the East Bay park on Saturday and was last seen there around 11 a.m., according to Pleasanton police. His wife reported him missing when he didn’t return by 2 p.m., and police said they later found his vehicle parked at the Moller Ranch trailhead with his personal items.
An extensive search unfolded over the next five days, including dozens of law enforcement agencies and over 100 community volunteers who traveled to the area from all over the Bay Area after organizing on social media. While law enforcement scaled down the search on Tuesday, and largely completed their remaining assignments Wednesday night, the volunteers are continuing to dispatch search groups from their hub at Foothill High School as of Thursday.
Tom Wooten met Kreycik in college and both have shared numerous hiking and running adventures over the years. Though Wooten is based in Boston, and hasn’t been able to see Kreycik recently due to the pandemic, he was deeply involved in organizing search efforts online over the past five days.
“We’re overwhelmed by the amount of support we’ve gotten from all corners of the Bay Area and all over the world. Being able to put out a callout for volunteers to do arduous, all-day hikes and have them show up with very little notice and do exactly what they’re asked, and stay safe while doing it, is jaw-dropping,” Wooten said.
Hundreds of volunteers have embarked on miles-long hikes in the steep, rugged terrain, posting Strava routes as they go, and others have supported the search by making flyers, maps and organizing efforts, and dozens of local businesses have arrived at the search site to provide food and refreshments for the hikers.
“I think there’s a very strong contingent of people who know and love Philip and want to do everything they can to help find him, and there’s others who don’t know him at all and are still coming out of the woodwork [to help].” said Wooten. “I think that the hiking and outdoor community is strong, but there’s just as much interest from people who don’t have that skillset and wish that they could be going out to help,” Wooten said.
Pleasanton police, the lead agency in the search, were supported by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, the East Bay Regional Park District Police Department and numerous other agencies in deploying police canines, drones, aircrafts with thermal technology, off-road vehicles and fixed-wing planes to try and locate Kreycik.
Sgt. Ray Kelly, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, said their team is ready on standby to respond to the park if there’s an investigative lead from Pleasanton police, but for the time being, the majority of the team is no longer on scene with the volunteers.
“We appreciate the Kreycik family’s cooperation and patience during this difficult time, and we have the best resources here to help in both the search efforts and the investigation,” Pleasanton police Lt. Erik Silacci said in a statement Wednesday, “Every day, search and rescue crews and countless volunteers have been working nonstop to find Philip, and we all want to bring him home.”
Anyone who has information about Kreycik’s whereabouts on Saturday is asked to contact the Pleasanton police department at (925) 931-5100, and volunteers can join ongoing search efforts on social media.