Missing student returns after three days
January 20, 2004
A San Diego State University student, who was missing since Friday from Squaw Valley USA, was found safe Monday after her father, Donald Velasco, called authorities to report he had spoken to the man with his daughter.
Tonya Velasco, 19, was on a ski trip with her sorority when she disappeared. She was last seen at approximately 3 p.m. Friday and turned in her rental ski boots around 5 p.m.
The Placer County Sheriff’s Office originally feared Tonya’s disappearance was suspicious after her father reported she had failed meet her group. She was supposed to take charter bus back to the Phoenix Hotel in Reno, where her sorority was staying.
A witness later spotted a female he thought to be Tonya at a bar in Truckee, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office reported that Tonya had left the ski area with 31-year-old Truckee-resident Dylan Carter, and the two spent the next two days “partying,” Carter told Donald in a phone conversation. Donald also spoke with his daughter, who confirmed she was safe. She assured him Carter was taking her back to Reno, according to sheriff’s reports.
Sheriff’s deputies discovered that Carter was wanted for parole violations in California and Nevada. They contacted Reno Police Department officers, who arrested Carter upon his arrival to the hotel.
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Tonya was reunited with her group and boarded a bus back to San Diego Monday afternoon, officials reported.
In other news
A snowshoer lost his group on the way down from Martis Peak. The Placer County Sheriff’s Office and Tahoe Nordice Search and Rescue organized teams to look for 56-year-old Ronald Davidson on snowmobiles.
Davidson hiked out to state Route 267 near Northstar around 8 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.