Air Force veteran and father of 3 missing from Hermosa Beach


Hermosa Beach police are asking for the public’s help in finding an Air Force veteran and father of three who went missing Saturday after visiting Pier Plaza with friends.

Michael David Vanzandt, 36, of Lancaster was standing in line with friends outside the American Junkie gastro pub about 10:15 p.m. Saturday when he began walking toward a nearby liquor store, Roberts Liquor, according to the Hermosa Beach Police Department.

Vanzandt has not been seen or heard from since. Friends told police that they lost contact with his cellphone shortly after he was last seen, and family members reported him missing on Sunday.


“It’s not necessarily suspicious circumstances, like foul play, but the fact that he’s been gone so long,” Hermosa Beach Sgt. Robert Higgins said. “He is a father, and obviously it’s concerning for him to disappear for this much time.”

Vanzandt and friends had watched an Ultimate Fighting Championship fight Saturday evening and rented a hotel room in the area, but he never came back, ABC7 reported. His friends left Sunday afternoon after trying to call him repeatedly.

Vanzandt’s brother, Tyler Vanzandt, wrote on Facebook that Michael’s car was still at the hotel Monday afternoon.

Vanzandt works at Edwards Air Force Base and is a swimmer and scuba diver, according to ABC. Tyler Vanzandt told the new station that he is “somebody that does like to take swims at night, you know, after he’s been drinking.”

“I’ve been out with him numerous times, and certainly that’s a concern,” Tyler Vanzandt said.

Sgt. Higgins said authorities are limited in how much they can search the water unless someone saw Vanzandt enter the water at a specific location. Currently, police are trying to get the missing man’s photo out in the public as much as possible.


“Hopefully somebody’s seen him somewhere,” Higgins said. “We’re just hoping he turns up.”

Police described Vanzandt as a 6-foot-tall white male, 190 lbs., with blond hair and blue eyes. He has three known tattoos: a tiger in the jungle on his left bicep, a small Buddha on his back and the word “KEATON” in descending letters on his left calf.

Hermosa Beach police are asking anyone who sees Vanzandt or knows of his whereabouts to call (310) 318-0360.

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