Search for missing Oceano man is suspended

Rafael Chavez Gonzalez
Rafael Chavez Gonzalez

Sheriff’s deputies and search-and-rescue teams suspended their search Saturday for a missing Oceano man.

Rafael Chavez Gonzalez, 65, was last seen on or about Oct. 21 on a family member’s property in the 2400 block of Willow Road on the Nipomo Mesa, according to Sgt. Tony Perry of the county Sheriff's Office.

He was reported missing Nov. 3.

Authorities suspect that Gonzalez, a transient who frequents downtown Oceano and the railroad track area, voluntarily left the family property and may have attempted to walk back to the Oceano area.

Search-and-rescue teams searched the vicinity with the help of a California Highway Patrol helicopter but were unable to discover additional information regarding Gonzalez's whereabouts, Perry said in a news release.

Although the case remains under investigation by sheriff's detectives, Perry said, foul play is not suspected at this time.

Gonzalez is described as a Hispanic man with gray hair, blue eyes and brown/gray facial hair standing 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing approximately 165 pounds. He is a left arm amputee.

He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a light-blue shirt with dark stripes, a tan Dickies sweatshirt and dark-colored shoes. He was possibly carrying a blue cloth Walmart shopping bag containing personal items.

Members of the public with information regarding Gonzalez’s whereabouts should contact the Sheriff's Office at 781-4550.

Anonymous tip information may be provided by calling 549-STOP (7867). The public can also text their tip by texting "SLOTIPS" plus a message to CRIMES (274637) or submit their tip through the Crime Stoppers website, http://slotips.org.