Local News in Brief : Rescuers Halt Search for Man in Mountains

Rescue teams Thursday ended a 4-day search for a despondent man thought to have disappeared into a remote mountainous area in the northern Santa Clarita Valley, authorities said.

Karl Matusevic, 36, of Frazier Park was reported missing Oct. 5 after he did not return home from his job at a Van Nuys electronics firm, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Van Mosley.

Matusevic’s wife reported his disappearance and told deputies that he recently had become depressed over business and personal problems, Mosley said.

There were few clues as to his whereabouts until a car was found abandoned Monday on the side of Ridge Route Road, about 5 miles north of Templin Highway near Castaic Lake, Mosley said. The car was registered to Matusevic, and a search began in the area soon after it was discovered.


“They followed his tracks into a ravine near where the car was abandoned,” Mosley said. “But the tracks ended there.”

About 35 searchers, including deputies from Los Angeles and Kern counties and members of the Santa Clarita Valley Search and Rescue Team, looked for Matusevic in the rugged mountains where the car was found, officials said. Some searchers were on horseback and others used bloodhounds. A helicopter equipped with infrared equipment was also used.

Lt. Dennis Burns said the search was discontinued Thursday about 4:30 p.m. after no sign of Matusevic was found. He said it will not be restarted unless new information or evidence is found.