Missing Sacramento snowboarder safe in Stateline

Several hours after a Sacramento snowboarder was reported missing at Heavenly Mountain Resort on Thursday, he was reported partying in Stateline.

Brian Baker, 24, was last seen on the slopes of Stage Coach at approximately 2 p.m., according to Sgt. Tom Mezzetta of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Ski patrols from Heavenly failed to locate any signs that the missing snowboarder had gone out of bounds.

Seventeen Douglas County Sheriff Search and Rescue members responded to a call for help on Thursday at about 9 p.m. A search of the Nevada side of Heavenly was initiated after a snowboarder reported his friend missing.

"Search and rescue consider a person missing within the boundaries of a ski resort extremely serious as it often indicates that the skier has been injured and that the injury is to such an extent that the skier is unable to seek nearby help," Mezzetta said.

Search and Rescue teams from El Dorado County responded and initiated a search on the California side of Heavenly. A light snow fell at 1:30 a.m. as search and rescue teams on snowmobiles and snowshoes made their way through the darkness.

"A telephone call was then received with information that the missing snowboarder may have come off the mountain much earlier and was at that very moment, partying in the casino core of Stateline," Mezzetta said. "Plans that would have brought up to one hundred search members to the mountainside at daybreak were put on hold."

Search and Rescue members went to the home in South Lake Tahoe believed to have been visited by Baker. There, a snowboard and gloves were recovered. Brian's parents who had driven to Lake Tahoe from Sacramento upon hearing that their son was lost on the mountain identified the ski equipment as belonging to their son.

Baker was found at 3 a.m., safe in the casino core of Stateline. All Search and rescue personnel were called off the search.

"The sheriff's office reminds outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds to always venture out with others, never alone," Mezzetta said. "Inform others not venturing out with the group of where you're going and what time you expect to return. Establish a designated meeting place should you become separated and of course, use that designated location to return to your group."


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