Woman on walk finds missing man’s body on rural California trail, police say

Screengrab from GoFundMe

A woman taking a walk on a rural California trail found the body of a man who vanished a month ago, police said.

Lawrence “Larry” Atchison, 64, went missing after walking away from his Santa Rosa home on Feb. 27, the Santa Rosa Police Department said in a March 28 news release.

After coming across the body in “an unincorporated area of Bennett Valley,” the woman called the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, and the coroner’s office confirmed the body belonged to Atchison, the department said.

“Though he may not be here to hug us, he is here in spirit,” Atchison’s stepson wrote on a Facebook group dedicated to finding him.

Atchison was diagnosed with dementia three years ago, according to a GoFundMe set up for the family.

“Larry is the sweetest most compassionate man I know, even with dementia,” his stepdaughter wrote on Facebook in early March. “He’s one of those people worth the fight.”

Atchison disappeared from his home while his wife, with whom he spent all his time with, was in the restroom, The Press Democrat reported.

“I go to our room and the room is empty, and I go to the living room and the room is empty,” his wife, Cecilia Gachet-Atchison, told the newspaper.

In the weeks since his disappearance, multiple law enforcement agencies, family and volunteers have been scouting the area looking for Atchison in “neighborhoods, waterways, parks and trails,” police said.

Despite extensive search efforts, Atchison was not found, according to police.

“All attempts were not in vain. Your thoughts, prayers, and efforts are a testament that Larry was never truly alone,” Atchison’s stepson wrote.

Santa Rosa is about 55 miles north of San Francisco.

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