Man gone missing now staying with daughter in Ventura
Richard Cunningham woke up Monday morning, made coffee and went outside his house to get the newspaper like he does every day.
It’s not unusual for the 77-year-old man who lives at Tahoe Paradise to work in the yard or talk to neighbors for an hour or two, so his wife Elizabeth, 70, didn’t worry when she didn’t she him around for a while.
Around noon, Elizabeth said she started to get concerned and family members reported him missing at 3:48 p.m. The family was especially concerned because he had a stroke 12 years ago and last week he put a gash in his head while working on a carpentry project for his wife. Staples were used to treat the injury.
El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department launched a search Monday afternoon that included deputies, volunteers, dogs and a helicopter. They mainly searched trails and the woods near the Cunningham home. Witnesses reported seeing him in the area of Pioneer Trail and Susquehana Drive around 1 p.m. Cunningham was also reportedly seen at Denny’s and the post office on Al Tahoe Boulevard.
Around 8 p.m., deputies checked his credit card records and found that Cunningham purchased a bus ticket from South Lake Tahoe to Ventura, Calif., a place he moved from two years ago. The bus left for Ventura at 5:45 p.m. After a media blitz, deputies tracked him to a bus station in Ventura on East Thompson Boulevard Tuesday at 11:50 a.m.
Cunningham was taken to Ventura Community Hospital where he was tested and released. Doctors found slight swelling and some blood on his brain, possibly as a result of his head wound, Elizabeth said.
“He’s doing OK,” she said. “He’s in Ventura with my daughter right now. He’s not coming back until he gets better. If he stays too long I’ll go there.”
Elizabeth, who spoke to her husband on the phone Tuesday, said he doesn’t remember anything about leaving South Lake Tahoe.
“He sounds OK,” she said. “A little slower, but he sounded like himself.”
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Christmas Engines for South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue and Lake Valley Fire Protection District will be out and about in December spreading holiday cheer.