A 22-year-old man who has lived alone aboard his boat in Morro Bay for the past year is mysteriously missing.
Family members of Avery Edward Danley are desperately seeking any information that could help locate him.
The Turlock native was last seen in the early evening Jan. 21 after dining with friends, a couple twice his age, according to his family members. The couple also has a boat in the Morro Bay harbor.
“Then he went to use the shower next to the Harbor Patrol,” said his mother, Crystal Danley of Valley Springs. “We’ve learned someone there asked if he wanted to go to the bar and he said, ‘No.’ That was the last we know that anyone has seen of him.”
Danley’s kayak, which he used to travel between the shore and his moored boat, was found adrift in the harbor a few days after his disappearance.
His kayak had floated away from his boat in the past but not related to any disappearance, according to his aunt, Valerie Borges of Modesto, and mother.
He was calling in, checking in on (a) regular basis.
Crystal Danley, Avery Danley’s mother
Danley’s family members have spent the past few days posting fliers around Morro Bay and talking to people around town in hopes of learning more about what happened.
The Morro Bay Police Department is investigating the case, having received a missing person’s report Jan. 27. They believe he went missing sometime between Jan. 21 and Jan. 22.
“The family remains in contact with investigators and we welcome any information that will assist with locating Avery,” Morro Bay police Chief Amy Christey wrote in an email.
Danley “fell in love with Morro Bay” and wanted to continue living there, his mother said. Crystal Danley said she bought a boat for her son after seeing it posted for sale on Craigslist.
Though Avery Danley didn’t own a cellphone, his mother said she talked with him daily leading up to his disappearance. He borrowed friends’ phones to chat with her.
“He was calling in, checking in on (a) regular basis,” Crystal Danley said.
She said Avery Danley would take odd jobs to make ends meet.
“He had been picking avocados and was selling them to the market. He’d helped somebody move. He’d just find whatever he could,” said Crystal Danley, adding that her son had recently applied for a hotel job.
We’re all sick to death worried about him. In our opinion, if he knew we were looking for him he would contact us.
Valeria Borges, Avery Danley’s aunt
Family members say they don’t know what may have happened to Avery Danley.
It’s possible he went hiking somewhere or maybe joined someone on a sailing trip, his mother said. But his family members believe he wouldn’t take a trip without telling them, and they don’t think a recreational boating accident is likely.
Family members say Danley drank alcohol, but they say don’t believe he was out of control with his drinking. And they don’t think he was consuming alcohol on the day he was last seen.
Police, the CHP and the Harbor District collectively have searched the harbor area without finding any trace of Danley.
According to Danley’s family, police are reviewing surveillance footage from a business in town her son reportedly had frequented.
“There are a couple accounts of the events and/or locations based on the investigation,” Christey said in an email. “All of the sightings are near the Embarcadero in Morro Bay.”
Danley last posted on Facebook in September 2012, indicating he didn’t frequently use the social media site.
However, in one of his Facebook posts, he writes about “drinking every night” while living with a family member.
“He is kind of a free spirit,” Borges said of her nephew. “Anything is possible, but we’re all sick to death worried about him. In our opinion, if he knew we were looking for him, he would contact us. He would not like us to be worried about him.”
Anyone with information about this case should call Morro Bay Police at 772-6225.