Mitch Padula's family is in desperate need of help. Butte County Search and Rescue called off the ground recovery of his body on Monday, because of the dangerous conditions for rescuers. But the family of the missing 28-year-old says they won't give up, until his body is found.
"I need Mitch back. I need him back!" Still mourning the loss of his son on Sunday, Bill Padula won't be able to find closure until Mitch's body is found.
Butte County Sheriff's Search and Rescue have called off the search for the 28-year-old. Bill Padula says, "I know that search and rescue are volunteers and they've done all they can and we appreciate that.. But if there's anybody else that can help us, we need help!" Butte County Search & Rescue Lt. Kevin Lucero says, "There's not much we can do. It's just one of those unfortunate incidents where we have to look at it from a realistic stand point and danger to rescuers."
Crews have been searching high and low the past two days. Because of the dangerous, rapidly flowing falls, that drop more than 400 feet, Padula's body is believed to be somewhere at the bottom of Feather Falls. Recovery of the Chico State Engineering student may take weeks or even months. "We just have to give it a little time. Let that water dissipate, let the conditions become more safe for the rescuers and then the trained rescuers will be able to go out and recover his body," says Lucero.
Twelve family members spent Tuesday searching the falls with binoculars from the look out point. They hope others going to enjoy the scenic falls can use Mitch's accident as a warning. Mitch's older brother Michael says, "You can get a great view from the lookout.. There's no need to get that close to the waterfall. Because accidents do happen. And just one slip.. One slip can ruin people's lives forever."