Just after 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from the family of Mariposa resident Ronald Hughes, 74, stating that Mr. Hughes was missing. The family reported that he was last seen on Saturday at 3 p.m.
They indicated that Mr. Hughes could possibly have been on his way to Triangle Market, Woodland Market or Oakhurst, and that a neighbor may have made contact with him.
Deputies then contacted neighbors in the area and learned that Mr. Hughes was riding his grey bicycle. Deputies did a hasty search of the main corridors leading to the reported possible locations, and an alert was issued to Mariposa and Madera Counties.
On Monday June 27, Sheriff’s Office personnel continued to search for the missing man, and the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department helicopter was contacted to assist in the search from the air.
A witness reported that a man possibly matching the description of Mr. Hughes was seen on the Woodland Grade area on Saturday afternoon. Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue office then initiated a grid/evidence search on the Woodland Grade.
At approximately 4:30 p.m., Mr. Hughes was located on the Woodland Grade area above Vista Point by MCSO Search and Rescue members. Having apparently crawled under heavy brush, he was well hidden, and could not be seen from the road or air.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Mr. Hughes was extremely disoriented and weak, and was transferred to Mercy Medical units and flown to a local hospital.