KINGS COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Officials with the Kings County Sheriff’s Office continue to search for a man who went missing at the Kings River earlier this week.
According to authorities, Roberto Hernandez and his co-worker were clearing debris from various weirs in the area of the Crescent Weir. At one point when his co-worker was starting to cross a weir on the Kings River asked Hernandez to go back to their work truck to retrieve a rake.
Deputies say the co-worker continued working along the weir while he waited for Roberto to return. After 15-20 minutes, he told deputies he became concerned because Roberto had not returned and after searching the area, he could not locate him.
The report says patrol staff immediately started looking for Hernandez and multiple Sheriff’s Office resources were deployed to the scene to assist with the search including the Kings County Sheriff’s Office Water Rescue Unit, the Mounted Enforcement Unit (horses), detectives, and air support units.
Officials say despite the extensive search on the first day, they were unable to locate Roberto.
Additionally, deputies say they were unable to locate any evidence at the scene to explain where Roberto may have gone. For this reason, authorities say they are afraid that Hernandez may have fallen into the Kings River.
In the report, authorities say the search team located several locations of interest but determined it to be debris trapped along the weir.
The search continued on Wednesday and remains active on Thursday. Hernandez is yet to be found – prompting more law enforcement and emergency agencies personnel to join the search effort.
However, authorities say due to the changing weather conditions, it is becoming increasingly dangerous to search for Hernandez as the amount of water in the Kings River is rising.
Kings County Sheriff’s Office officials say that Roberto is in good physical shape, mentally healthy, and healthy in his relationships with his family and friends, so they say do not suspect foul play in this case. They add that it does not appear that Roberto left the area on foot and family members confirmed that he did not have significant medical conditions or personal issues.
Kings County Sheriff’s Office officials do not recommend private citizens search the area due to the unsafe conditions of the Kings River.
If anyone has seen Roberto, officials ask to contact Kings County Sheriff’s Office dispatch at (559) 852-2720.