Bay Area law enforcement agencies and volunteers continued their search for a missing runner in a new area of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park on Wednesday, after someone reported hearing cries for help in a Sunol canyon early that morning.
"The big push" to find Philip Kreycik, 37, of Berkeley was on Tuesday, with more than 100 volunteers looking for the avid runner.
But after "exhaustive search efforts" and expanding the search area 100 meters outside of his intended route, the Pleasanton Police Department said "no significant clues" were collected that day. Testing done on blood found on a rock earlier was also confirmed to be animal blood.
Less than 12 hours after officials announced they would scale back their search for Kreycik -- who was last seen at the Moller Ranch staging area around 10:45 a.m. on Saturday -- reports came in early Wednesday morning that a person heard crying for help on the Sunol side of the park.
Lt. Erik Silacci from the PPD told the Weekly that personnel couldn't be deployed until daylight, when the Alameda County Sheriff's Office sent their drone team along with search and rescue teams and helicopters to search the canyon for the father of two.
Nothing was found in the area on Wednesday but officials are continuing to search in other locations where they have not already looked or that need to be scoured again. Based on his own experiences of chasing down criminals in the area at night, Silacci said it's possible the reported cries were actually an animal.
"There's a lot of wildlife in that area," Silacci said. "You hear a lot of noises, some of those could be interpreted as someone yelling. More than likely it was an animal."
A total of 20 search and rescue teams on foot and e-bikes have searched a 50-square-mile area "in an organized and systematic approach," for signs of Kreycik, along with using dogs, drones, fixed-wing aircraft and thermal technology.
The majority of the trails have been searched at this point, and Silacci said reports that most of the park has already been searched are "misleading."
"Off-trails, we're not able to physically search certain areas, so usually what they'll do is search areas nearby," Silacci said.
The search for Kreycik will continue but with fewer personnel on the case. There were around 50 people helping on Wednesday, down from a high of over 100 the day before, some of whom were turned away due to the influx. A staging area for search and rescue teams is still operating at Foothill High School.
Kreycik was reported missing by his wife on Saturday afternoon when he didn't return from an hour-long run on the Pleasanton Ridge. Kreycik's phone was later found inside his vehicle parked at Moller Ranch.
Officials believe that Kreycik is either incapacitated or not in the general area, and have not ruled out foul play. "We're not ruling anything out at this time. We have an investigation team who is pursuing all of those leads right now," Silacci said.
Anyone that was in the area and saw Kreycik that day is asked to contact authorities.
"We're concentrating on firming up his timeline that day from when he left his house to when he arrived in Pleasanton," Silacci said, and were able to determine that Kreycik returned a package via a parcel service on his way to the park that morning.
Kreycik is described as a white male, with a thin build, brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing shorts, a watch, socks and grey Saucony sneakers. He is an experienced long-distance runner with no known health conditions.
A Facebook page dedicated to the search for Kreycik was also created by volunteers several days ago.
The East Bay Regional Park District system, including the Pleasanton Ridge, remains open for visitors.
Anybody with information about Kreycik’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Pleasanton Police Department at 925-931-5100