Group takes up where search left off in hunt for missing man

Times Staff Writer

Unwilling to give up hope, some 150 family members, friends and strangers scoured foothills and biking trails early Friday morning for missing hiker David Boone, who disappeared 10 days ago near his Foothill Ranch home.

Many searched on foot, others on mountain bikes and a few on horses in an area known for its mountain lion population and chilly night temperatures.

Authorities stopped looking for Boone, a 56-year-old golf-club designer and father of four, four days ago. Jim Amormino, an Orange County sheriff's spokesman, said that while there was no indication of foul play, there were no clues to his whereabouts. "As more time goes on, the chances of a safe, successful return diminish," he said. "I just hope the family finds out something soon. They need some closure."

Terrie Boone, David Boone's estranged wife, said the family decided to search Friday with rain expected this weekend.

"We needed to be proactive," she said. "It's agonizing, sitting around not doing anything. There's been no scenario to point to, no direction to go, but because he likes to hike and exercise, we decided to check all the dirt trails and places where he would walk."

Peter Vidmar, an Olympic gymnast who won two gold medals in 1984, had no connection to Boone other than being a member of his local Mormon church, but he spent two hours combing Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park on his bike.

"I really didn't know what to look for," Vidmar said. "You kind of hope you don't find something to indicate he'd been injured."

Vidmar said he concentrated on areas that were off the beaten track. "I wanted to search places that people might not have looked," he said. "I saw four deer, a skunk and an old water bottle. But that's about it."

Boone was last seen by his youngest son, Davis, 17, about 2 p.m. on Dec. 5, when, authorities believe, he may have taken a stroll in the hills near their Foothill Ranch apartment.

Boone left no note, and his car, mountain bike and wallet were at the apartment, leading the family to speculate that he may have gone hiking.

"He was a nature guy," said Adam Boone, 25, another of Boone's sons. "He loved hiking and he loved looking for things like snakes and lizards."

Terrie Boone said the family had checked everyplace her husband might have ended up -- hospitals, shelters, rescue missions, even the county morgue. She said phone records, computer files and credit statements had also been examined and fliers with her husband's picture had been posted throughout town.

Boone, who has made golf clubs for popular pros Ernie Els and Fred Couples, usually started his day at a local coffeehouse, discussing current events, cars, and golf. John Nunez was often on the other end of the conversations.

"One day, he just stopped coming in," Nunez said. "I thought maybe he had found another coffee shop."

A few days later, Nunez learned his friend was missing.

"It's very chilling," he said. "It's strange how someone can be gone without a trace."





About 150 people -- friends, family and strangers -- searched Friday morning for David Boone, who has been missing since Dec. 5. Boone frequently walked, hiked and bicycled in open areas around his apartment.


Source: The Boone famliy

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