Sheriff's deputies and about 200 volunteers scoured chaparral-covered mountains from Calabasas to Camarillo on Saturday, continuing the search for a Westlake nurse who has been missing for nearly two weeks.
Many of the volunteers had never met Kellie O'Sullivan, 34, who disappeared Sept. 14 while running errands in Thousand Oaks. Yet the men and women from the Conejo and Las Virgenes areas divided up into search teams and hiked for hours under a hot sun, looking for traces of O'Sullivan, who was last seen wearing a white nurse's uniform.
"This has the look of surrealism," said a dazed Sharlene Cunningham, O'Sullivan's mother.
Sheriff's Sgt. Bruce Hansen said search teams were "checking and rechecking" rough hillside terrain where people have reported sketchy tips of seeing vehicles resembling O'Sullivan's black 1991 Ford Explorer on the afternoon of Sept. 14. So far, Hansen said, there has been no sign of O'Sullivan.
O'Sullivan disappeared the same day that a Thousand Oaks teen-ager was allegedly abducted by her boyfriend at gunpoint. The girl turned up in Reno, Nev., last week with her alleged abductor, 19-year-old Mark Scott Thornton, driving O'Sullivan's Explorer.
Thornton, a Thousand Oaks resident, told police that he took the truck after finding it empty with the keys inside in front of a Thousand Oaks pet store that O'Sullivan was seen leaving that afternoon.
Sheriff's deputies plan to continue the search today. Anyone wishing to help can call 494-6736.
O'Sullivan's family and friends are also asking for donations to a trust fund to help defray expenses for the search. Money should be sent to the Kellie C. O'Sullivan trust fund, Great Western Bank, Calabasas, Calif. 91302.