Tajah Connelly Horner recently went missing in the Anza area. She was located just before the Town Crier went to press last week. The newspaper followed up with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) media information bureau on her condition when she was located.
“That information was not shared with us only that she was located safely and removed from the missing persons system,” wrote RCSD Sgt. Deanna Pecoraro in an email last Tuesday evening.
The newspaper reached out again to the media information bureau seeking any updates regarding the four still missing people in the Idyllwild and surrounding area. Pecoraro responded that they have no updates at this time.
Since the beginning of June, the Town Crier has contacted the media information bureau every week in an attempt to receive updates about the missing people in and around the Idyllwild area.
Connelly Horner was the seventh person to go missing since March of this year. Four of the seven people remain missing.
Lydia “Dia” Abrams, Roy Prifogle, Melissa Lane and Rosario Garcia remain missing.
Pecoraro responded a couple of weeks ago writing, “Sorry for the delayed response as it has been a bit busy for us this week.
“I spoke with our Hemet Station and they have advised that during the month of August, searches were conducted by our Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit, in the last known area that Rosario Garcia and Roy Prifogle may have been. No additional information or leads were located during those searches. Melissa Lane is a continued investigation and as well have no updated information at this time. Dia Abrams is a continued investigation with no further update at this time.”
The community remains confused by the lack of information being released by the media information bureau and wondering if their safety is at stake.
On Sept. 10, a RCSD SUV was spotted hauling an off-road vehicle near Highway 243 and Saunders Meadow Road.
According to Hemet Sheriff Station Capt. Leonard Purvis, “They were conducting follow-up searches for Melissa Lane.”
While it was unclear exactly where on the mountain deputies were searching for Lane, Purvis also confirmed that the search didn’t provide any further information or evidence of where Lane may have gone missing. That is an update RCSD could have provided.
Lane, 41, was last seen June 15, according to a poster that was displayed in the Mountain Center area. The Town Crier spoke to Kathy Lamont, Lane’s mother, right after she was reported missing.
“She was an avid hiker but didn’t have a destination,” Lamont said. “She was last seen in Pine Cove. I don’t know if she’s dead or alive.”
Outside of the search for Lane, the community has not received any updates on the other three missing people. Friends, family and the community have been left in the dark.
The emotional toll all of the families and friends of these missing people are having to endure can only be expressed as excruciating.
Garcia was last seen July 7 wearing a brown shirt and blue jeans at the 26000 block of Katherine Street in Hemet. Garcia is a 73-year-old Hispanic female and it is possible she suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. She is 5’ 3” tall and 120 pounds.
Palm Desert deputies from the RCSD were dispatched to the area of 70000 East Highway 74 in Pinyon Pines at 11:46 a.m. July 9 after Garcia’s vehicle was found unoccupied. Garcia was not located after a search of the area was conducted.
Earlier in the year, Prifogle was reported missing after going on a hike in the Pine Cove area Wednesday, March 4. He left home at about 1 p.m. and was last seen at the Pine Cove Market at 6:30 p.m. on the same day. He was last seen wearing a red backpack and jeans.
RCSD Deputy Jeremy Parsons said, “After six full days of searching in between inclement weather, searching 8 to 10 hours per day, Prifogle has not been located. The Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU), as well as search and rescue volunteers from San Bernardino County, Orange County and San Diego County, were assisting. In total, about 150 people have been searching during those six days.” Also adding, “On the second or third day of the search, we found his backpack, but have found no other clues as to his whereabouts.”
On Sunday, June 7 at approximately 8:24 a.m., Hemet Station deputies were dispatched to the 58000 block of Bonita Vista in reference to a missing person. Abrams was placed into the system as a missing person.
Abrams is 65 years old, 5’ 5” tall, 130 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was last seen wearing a black and turquoise jacket, yellow shirt and blue jeans.
According to RMRU, their team of volunteers was dispatched to Abrams’ 160-acre ranch in the Apple Canyon area (between Mountain Center and Garner Valley) June 9. They conducted a search from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with no success of finding Abrams.
RMRU went out again June 10 to search more difficult areas on the property including a creek bed and the hills overlooking her ranch. All assignments were completed by 6 p.m. At that point, detectives took over the investigation and called off the physical ground search.
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Roy Prifogle, Dia Abrams, Rosario Garcia or Melissa Lane, contact the RCSD at 800-950-2444.