Missing Butte County family found by Good Samaritan

A missing father and his two children, who have been missing since Sunday, were returned home by a Good Samaritan early Tuesday morning.

Posted: Apr 15, 2019 6:29 PM
Updated: Apr 16, 2019 1:40 PM

UPDATE 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - The Butte County Sheriff's Office said the wife of the missing father called at 12:50 a.m. Tuesday to say a local citizen found the family and drove them home.

No medical attention was needed. 

Deputies with the Butte County Sheriff's Office immediately went to the home to confirm all three missing individuals were accounted for. 


UPDATE 11:15 p.m. Monday, April 15, 2019 - The search continues Monday night for a father and his two sons, missing on the upper ridge of Butte County since Sunday.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office said 25-year-old Michael Mercado and his sons Matthew and Antonio, who are 7-years-old and 2-years-old, took their jeep to go hiking just above Stirling City on Sunday.

Action News Now spoke with a sergeant from the sheriff's office about the challenges rescuers faced as the search continued into the night.

"The challenges we're facing are of course the weather. It's been rain and snow all day and with that goes the temperature, it's been cold all day and the temperature's been dropping right now. We definitely feel a sense of urgency to find this family as fast as we can. We have run into bears with cubs out here," said Butte County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Jack Storne.

The Butte County Sheriff's Office said they plan to keep the command center above Stirling City open to Friday, but the search and rescue efforts will continue past that if the family still isn't found by then.


STIRLING CITY, Calif. - Still no sign of a father and his two children. They’ve been missing since Sunday.

Michael Mercado and his two young sons took their Jeep for a ride past Stirling City and vanished.

A woman called the Butte County Sheriff’s Office at around 1 a.m. Monday and said she hadn’t heard from her husband and two sons.

Miranda Bowersox from the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said, “Butte County Sheriff’s Office immediately responded to the area and we have since requested mutual aid resources.”

Right now, crews from Yuba County, Nevada County, Cal Fire, and Butte County have been looking for them by air and on the ground, but there's still no sign.

Bowersox said, “their Jeep that they were driving has been located unoccupied and the mom has reported that the kids were not dressed for the snow, so we are concerned for their safety and well-being. The children are seven and two and it’s been very cold.”

Anyone with information should call the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.

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