SACRAMENTO — A former political appointee and aide to Republican Gov. Pete Wilson has been found alive, two weeks after disappearing from a friend's encampment in a remote area of southeastern Trinity County.
Marty Dyer had been missing since the evening of July 30, when he failed to return from an after dinner walk around Henthorne Lake, where he was staying with a friend. A days-long search effort by local law enforcement officials produced few traces of Dyer, who is in his 60s.
The mysterious disappearance had left friends and former colleagues distraught and searching for answers about what had happened. But their worries were put to rest, when Dyer was located in an area called Hoxie Crossing, less than a half mile upstream from the lake where his walk began.
Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said the department's helicopter unit was called at about 2:30 p.m. Saturday to assist in Dyer's recovery. He was located by family members of the friend he had been staying with at the lake.
Berlant said Dyer, who was airlifted and transported by air ambulance to a medical center, was in "incredibly good shape for being out for 14 days." He told rescuers that he had ended up walking up river, away from the lake, and subsisted on just a few berries during his time in the wilderness.
"Really, it's kind of a true testament of the human spirit to go 14 days by yourself and be in that good condition," Berlant said.
Friends echoed that sentiment after hearing the news.
"I am thrilled beyond words," Richard Stapler, a former Democratic consultant who described Dyer as a mentor, wrote in an email announcing his friend's recovery.
Stapler said Dyer was awake, chatting and "seems to really want pancakes!"
Dyer, who began his career in politics as an aide to former Republican Gov. Ronald Reagan and held posts at the Bureau of Automotive Repair, Department of Parks and Recreation and Public Employee Relations Board, expressed gratitude to Cal Fire and "friends who thought (and) prayed about me" in a statement emailed to The Bee.
"I really had time to think about the value of old friendships. I want to use this experience to connect with people who I haven't been in touch with," he said.