Crime - Sacto 911

Yolo County Sheriff’s Office scales back search for missing man

Rico Omarr Harris of Alhambra has not been heard from since Oct. 10. His car was found in a remote spot near Rumsey in Yolo County.
Rico Omarr Harris of Alhambra has not been heard from since Oct. 10. His car was found in a remote spot near Rumsey in Yolo County. Yolo County Sheriff’s Office

The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office announced that it is scaling back its search for a missing Southern California man, a former Harlem Globetrotters player, whose vehicle was found at a county park last week, but detectives will continue the investigation in hopes of turning up more leads.

Rico Omarr Harris, 37, of Alhambra last contacted his family Oct. 10 as he was traveling from his mother’s home in Los Angeles County to his girlfriend’s residence in Seattle. He reportedly began the trip about 1 a.m. Oct. 10. He spoke to his mother at 9:45 a.m. as he passed through Sacramento and left a voice message with his girlfriend at 10:45 a.m., according to the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office.

On Oct. 14, after seeing Harris’ vehicle parked for two consecutive days in a remote parking area off Highway 16 near Rumsey, deputies contacted Harris’ family in Alhambra and his girlfriend. They found that he had never arrived in Seattle and had not been heard from in four days. Deputies then began searching a 27-mile stretch of Highway 16, as well as areas surrounding the Yolo County Parks Lower Site, where he was parked.

Sheriff’s officials said deputies searched in vehicles, on foot, on all-terrain vehicles and by airplane. On Tuesday, they searched areas within a 5-mile radius of where Harris’ vehicle was found, assisted by a California Highway Patrol airplane with Forward Looking InfraRed, a heat-seeking system, on board.

Officials said the search has failed to find Harris, who is 6 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 280 pounds, or turn up evidence other than his vehicle and a few personal effects.

In addition to the physical search, the Sheriff’s Office sent alerts through its Nixle automated notification system and worked with Yolo County Emergency Services to activate the Everbridge system, which sent telephone and text messages to more than 4,000 residents around the search area, asking them to call if they had information or had seen Harris. The systems have provided some information, according to the Sheriff’s Office, but not enough to find Harris.

Sheriff’s officials declined to comment further on the investigation except to say that foul play is not suspected.

Anyone with information regarding Harris’ whereabouts can call the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 668-5280.

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