Search goes on for missing man
NEVADA CITY – The search for a missing Reno man continued Wednesday, while his family received some encouraging news from a medical specialist about the man’s chances for survival.
Mark Richard Willingham, 43, was reported missing May 18 by the Yuba City Police Department, according to the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department.
The man’s sister, Katherine Willingham, 46, and their mother, Ursula Willingham, 73, are awaiting word from authorities at the mother’s home in Reno.
Katherine Willingham said the last time she heard from her brother was when he called May 11 to say his car had become stuck en route from Yuba City, where he lived until a year ago, to Reno, where he now lives.
Mark Willingham had a kidney transplant 10 years ago and now receives dialysis treatments three times a week, his sister said.
She said she spoke with her brother’s kidney specialist Tuesday, who said the man could survive up to a month without receiving a treatment.
“We got some hope back” when we heard that, Katherine Willingham said.
She also said she has a meeting scheduled with a psychic in Santa Cruz to help find her The last reported contact from Willingham was May 16, when he used his ATM card at a Chevron station in Grass Valley, according to investigators.
A lumberman found Willingham’s abandoned 1988 Toyota Camry on Friday on a dirt road off the Omega Overlook on Highway 20, about 12 miles east of Nevada City.
Katherine Willingham said she and her mother accompanied the search effort Saturday and Sunday, but when they saw the area where her brother’s vehicle was found, “We sort of lost hope.”
“It looked like a maze,” she said.
The Sheriff’s Department, the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, a California Highway Patrol helicopter, the California Youth Authority and search dogs have been involved in the search.
On Monday, Nevada County Sheriff’s Capt. Ken Duncan said there was no sign of foul play in or around the Camry.
Katherine Willingham said Tuesday the Yuba City Police Department requested that the vehicle be towed as possible crime scene evidence, but that could not be confirmed by authorities.
Mark Willingham is described as white, 6 feet tall and 185 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.
Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Department at 265-7880 or 582-7838.
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Nevada County recorded 46 new COVID-19 cases on Friday making the new total 16,570. There were 191 active cases, 16,239 people released from isolation, three people hospitalized locally and 140 total deaths.