LASSEN COUNTY, Calif. - Lassen County Sheriff Officials report the body of one man has been found after he and one other failed to return home and were reported missing by a friend on March 21, 2020.
Officials say on March 21, 2020, Shasta County residents, Mark Bailey and Charles Reifert were reported missing by a friend after they failed to return home after leaving the area on March 13. Their friend suspected they might go to a cabin near Susanville, but was unaware of the exact location.
A search of cellphone records indicated they had likely arrived in Lassen County on March 13. The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway patrol searched between Westwood and Susanville with no success.
According to officials on April 2, 2020, Mark Bailey surfaced on foot in Westwood, Ca. and called his brother to come pick him up. His brother, Scott Bailey called the Sheriff’s Office and a deputy contacted Mark at the Dollar General in Westwood. Mark stated approximately three weeks prior, he and Charles drove east on Moonlight Rd. towards a cabin that is owned by a family friend.
Prior to arriving, Mark and Charles’s vehicle got stuck in the snow, so they abandoned it and walked approximately 200 yards to the cabin. The weather deteriorated and the men were snowbound for several days. For unknown reasons, Charles decided to leave the cabin in the middle of the night with his dogs and never returned.
Officials say approximately 10 days later, Mark left the cabin on foot, where he was eventually picked up by a passing motorist and taken to the Dollar General. Several members from the Lassen County Sheriff’s Department responded to the area and searched tirelessly for Charles until nightfall, but were unsuccessful in locating him.
Officials say the following morning, members of the Sheriff’s Office returned to the area to conduct a search with the assistance of the United States Forest Service, Susanville Fire Department and members from the Lassen County Sheriff Search and Rescue. After several hours of searching, Charles was located but was found to be deceased.
One of Charles’ dogs was also located and transported to the Lassen County Animal Shelter.
Officials say Charles’ cause of death is undetermined at this time and is under investigation with the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office. Laura Johnson Sergeant