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Calaveras County Sheriff's Office
Wednesday November 22nd, 2023 :: 03:49 p.m. PST


Missing Hiker, Arnold

On Wednesday, November 22, 2023, the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office transitioned the search effort for Ann Herford to a limited and continuous search and investigation. The search effort, which had originally begun on November 15, 2023 has been extensive and involved 18 separate agencies and a total of 478 searchers over a seven-day intensive search. Ann Marie Herford was last seen on November 12, 2023, before parking her car at a trailhead of the Arnold Rim Trail System. She was reported missing on November 14th, 2023, which led to the discovery of her vehicle on November 15th, 2023.  
The search operation spanned a challenging and mountainous 12 square-mile area, in which search teams created over 2,475 linear miles of search tracks.  This operation has been characterized by a continuous and coordinated blend of search and investigation, with investigators conducting over 100 neighborhood contacts to gather potential leads and information.
The agencies involved in this critical search included:
  • Air National Guard
  • Amador County Sheriff’s SAR
  • Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit (BAMRU)
  • California Office of Emergency Services (Overhead and Air Resources)
  • Calaveras County Search and Rescue
  • Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office
  • California Highway Patrol
  • California Office of Emergency Services SAR
  • Contra Costa County Sheriff’s SAR
  • Marin County Sheriff’s SAR (Including Unmanned Aerial Systems - UAS)
  • Merced County Sheriff’s SAR
  • Nevada County Sheriff’s SAR
  • Placer County Sheriff’s SAR
  • San Mateo County Sheriff’s SAR
  • Santa Clara County Sheriff’s SAR
  • Tuolumne County Sheriff’s SAR
  • United States Army Aircraft
  • Yolo County Sheriff’s SAR

These agencies formed 132 search teams that collectively contributed 3,842 search hours to the ongoing operation. Combined investigative efforts have totaled well over 500 hours.
Aircraft from the California Highway Patrol, Intel 12 (a California Office of Emergency Services resource), the Air National Guard, the United States Army, and the Marin and Calaveras Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) teams were deployed to provide air support.
The search effort also utilized off-road vehicles, dive teams with remote-operated vehicles, and specialized canine search teams, further expanding the operation's range and effectiveness. 
Technology, which provided real-time tracking and assignment of search teams was utilized throughout the search, and the search “tracks” will continue to be analyzed. This technology is invaluable in optimizing search efforts, ensuring a systematic approach to assigning search areas and monitoring searcher progress.
In addition to extensive ground and aerial searches, investigators have conducted a forensic examination of Ann’s vehicle and her computer.   Security footage from both Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties has been collected and analyzed, and a thorough forensic examination of digital data originating from her cell phone and vehicle usage was conducted and utilized for searcher deployment.  Investigative measures taken during this case focused on determining whether foul play was a factor in this case.  Facts and evidence obtained during the investigation have led to the investigative belief that a criminal act was not a contributing factor in the disappearance of Ann Herford.
Despite the challenging terrain and the complexity of the operation, the search will continue with limited local search and investigative efforts. Residents surrounding the Arnold Rim Trail area are still asked to check their property and outbuildings for signs of Ann or evidence of her having taken shelter from the elements.  Updates will continue to be provided as more information becomes available.
The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office thanks all agencies and community members for their efforts and support.

Calaveras County Sheriff's Office
Jeff Tuttle Dr
San Andreas, CA 95249

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 209-754-6500

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