Crime - Sacto 911

Yuba City couple missing in snowy Sierra have sleeping bags, minimal food

Sondra Winberry leans her head on a roll up door at the Georgetown fire station where officials are coordinating the search for Winberry's sister Susan Holloter and her husband Rory on Friday, November 28, 2016 in Georgetown. The couple got lost while driving off road somewhere near Ice House and Wentworth Springs on Saturday.
Sondra Winberry leans her head on a roll up door at the Georgetown fire station where officials are coordinating the search for Winberry's sister Susan Holloter and her husband Rory on Friday, November 28, 2016 in Georgetown. The couple got lost while driving off road somewhere near Ice House and Wentworth Springs on Saturday. rpench@sacbee.com

The search for a Yuba City couple continued Monday in snowy El Dorado County where overnight temperatures dipped below freezing.

Rory and Susan Holloter, who are in their 60s, sent a text message about 12:50 p.m. Sunday saying they were stuck in the snow. The couple were last seen about 9 a.m. Saturday.

Since the text, the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office has not been able to connect with the Holloters. It could be that there is no cell phone coverage in the area where the couple is stranded or their phone battery has lost its charge, according to Sgt. Tasha Thompson, spokeswoman with the sheriff’s office.

There is also a chance that the lack of communication is a case of a downed cell phone tower. Thompson said that a Verizon tower is down in the area.

The sheriff’s office is working with the state Office of Emergency Services and Verizon to get a portable tower. The portable tower would then have to be hauled to a high elevation, which doesn't sound particularly promising, she said.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s officials searched until nightfall on Sunday for the Holloters near Ice House and Wentworth roads, a wooded area between Loon Lake and Union Valley Reservoir. Deputies were assisted by California Highway Patrol aircraft. The search resumed at daybreak Monday.

The couple were driving a Dodge Ramcharger, which is a large sport utility vehicle, when the SUV apparently became stranded in the snow. Approximately 25 people are searching for the couple, including personnel from the Placer County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team.

CHP air support was grounded due to bad weather in the mountains as personnel on the ground searched 50-square miles of terrain.

The couple could be keeping warm and waiting for a rescue rather than venturing out of their vehicle. Thompson said that the Holloters have two sleeping bags and a small amount of food.

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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