Crime - Sacto 911

Missing Bay Area father, 2 children found safe in rugged area of Sierra County

An Alameda County man and his two children were reported safe after they were located Thursday night in a rugged area of Sierra County.

A Sierra County sheriff’s spokesman said Nicholas Vlahos, 41, his 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter were located about 8:30 p.m. and were hoisted out the area by a National Guard helicopter. He said they had been reunited with family members.

A search began Tuesday when Vlahos and the children failed to return to their Alameda County home following a camping trip in Sierra County with other family members.

The Sierra County Sheriff’s Office received a report shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday that they were overdue returning home, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

They had last been seen in western Sierra County, traveling from their campsite in a 2015 black Toyota Tundra 4X4 pickup. The family reportedly planned to take a drive through a remote and rugged portion of Sierra and Plumas counties on their way home. They were reported to be in good health, and to have ample food and water supplies.

The Sierra County Sheriff’s Office conducted an immediate, quick search of the reported travel route Tuesday, sheriff’s officials said.

On Wednesday, Sierra County sheriff’s officers along with members of neighboring jurisdictions, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the California Highway Patrol conducted a thorough search of the reported route and surrounding area. The search included overflights by a California Highway Patrol helicopter. The search continued Thursday.

Details of where the three were located and what had happened to them were not immediately available.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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