About 100 people were out helping search for a Fowler man Thursday morning after he “mysteriously vanished” after his big rig was found idling on the side of the road, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said.

The people who were helping search are a mixture of family and friends, the Sheriff’s Office said. They’re in the area of Interstate 5 and Whitworth Road looking for him.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office is sending its Search and Rescue team as well, and the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is flying the area with their airplane.  

The missing man is Satwant Singh Bains, 54, and he may be in need of medication due to his diabetes.

Deputies say at around 5 a.m. Wednesday, California Highway Patrol responded to I-5 and Whitworth Road, northwest of Los Banos.

There were reports of a big rig pulling a refrigeration trailer idle on the freeway. “Officers discovered the truck’s engine running and the doors were unlocked with no one inside,” the sheriff’s office says.

Officers found a cell phone and wallet inside the truck belonging to Bains, but he was not found in the area.

His truck and trailer were towed away to a storage area. Officers contacted Bains’ family and told them the situation. His family filed a missing persons report with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.

Bains was reportedly hauling a load to Fairfield in northern California.

Family members tell the sheriff’s office it’s out of character for Bains to vanish without telling anyone. The Merced County Sheriff’s Office completed a thorough check of the area the truck was found. CHP helicopter, H-40, also assisted on the search and there was no sign of Bains.

The sheriff’s office will continue to work with Merced and CHP to locate Bains.


Bains is five feet tall, 8 inches, 230 pounds with brown eyes and black hair. He has a mustache and goatee. He also has a tattoo of a small cross on the back of his right hand.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at 559-600-3111. You can also call Det. Jeff Kertson at 559-600-8144 or Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867. Case # 19-6289.

For local and breaking news, and to get weather alerts, download our FREE mobile app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.