Philip Kreycik is still missing, five days after disappearing during a run in Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. Now authorities are scaling back the search after nearly a week without any solid leads. Investigators are still adamant that the runner can be found, though many are still asking the same question: What happened to him?
The extensive search first began in Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park, where authorities expected to find Philip Kreycik, 37, after he didn’t return from a run Saturday in the hills. Kreycik reportedly parked his car near the Moller Ranch staging area about 11 a.m. and told his wife he was going for a run in the East Bay Regional Park, Pleasanton police said. Philip Kreycik’s wife, Jen Yao, reported him missing at 2 p.m. Saturday.
An avid runner with no known health conditions, Kreycik is described as white, with a thin build and brown hair and eyes. He is presumed to be wearing running attire.
“Philip is an endurance athlete and is in top physical condition. He is also well-versed on rural terrain and outdoor environments,” Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly said in a statement Tuesday. “Temperatures that day on the ridge were about 106 degrees but were not a deterrent for Phillip who thrives in extreme environments.”
“The big push” to find Philip Kreycik was on Tuesday, with more than 100 volunteers looking for the avid runner. However, 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.
On the fifth day of searching in Pleasanton for the missing Berkeley jogger Phillip Kreycik, frustration is mounting among authorities. “We are definitely at a point where we are a little perplexed as to why we haven’t found Phillip yet. We’ll keep working. Where there’s hope, we’ll keep working,” said Alameda County Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly.
Less than 12 hours after officials announced they would scale back their search for the runner, 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 look in other locations where they have not already, 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.”
According to authorities, Philip Kreycik went for a run Saturday morning, leaving his home in Berkeley around 9 a.m., and told his wife he was going to Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park.
He did arrive. Authorities said his car with a cell phone inside it was in the parking lot of the Moller Ranch staging area around 11 a.m. Before he did, he stopped at the store in Oakland, Kelly said.
Authorities said that nugget of information is not necessarily suspicious. “We do know he went to a store. So we’re exploring that. We’re working to find out what that’s about,” Kelly added.
Pleasanton police Lt. Eric Silacci, whose department led the searches from Saturday through Tuesday, said Silacci’s family is “doing OK. They understand the significance of the fifth day and the scaled-down efforts. They’re still carrying hope.”
In an interview with ABC7 aired Wednesday, Philip Kreycik’s wife, Jen Yao, said, “I know in my heart of hearts he’s out there. He’s out there and he’s alive and he’s waiting for us. And maybe he’s dehydrated, maybe injured, delirious.”