The frontman for a heavy metal band pleaded with the public Friday for any information that could lead authorities to find his mother-in-law, who has been missing for nearly one week.
Dave Mustaine – the lead singer of Megadeth – spoke about the disappearance and search for 75-year-old Sally Estabrook, who was last seen around 4 p.m. on Oct. 4 at the Pinezanita RV Park and Campgrounds on Highway 79 in Julian, about 60 miles east of downtown San Diego.
Mustaine said the search for Estabrook has intensified over the past few days, with search and rescue crews now looking in areas outside the Julian campground for any traces of the missing woman.
According to detectives, Estabrook’s husband took a shower on Oct. 4 and when he returned, Estabrook was gone. She’s considered at risk because she suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.
Loved ones said that because of her Alzheimer's, Estabrook is not very communicative, but may respond to her name.
“We’re just asking everybody that may have been up there to take a look in your sheds, in your garages, in the thick brush around your house," Mustaine said at the media briefing on Friday. "A lot of times people that wander who have Alzheimer’s are found very close to their homes. They just take shelter underneath bushes.”
He also asked anyone who works at hospitals, shelters and senior citizen homes to double-check their patients and make sure Estabrook didn't wind up in one of their facilities.
“We need your help,” he pleaded. “If you see Sally – we call her Nana – she’s probably not going to answer to you. Please call 911 and we’ll go from there.”
Mustaine's wife, Pamela Casselberry, also spoke about her missing mother. She said there have been some sightings of Estabrook in nearby communities and asked the public to keep an eye out for her mother near places like fast food restaurants, rest stops and freeway ramps.
Though Casselberry described her mother as a "humble, energetic, sweet old lady" in good physical health, she said Estabrook's mind isn't all there.
“She wouldn’t know how to put two words together. She may look like a homeless person at this point,” said Casselberry.
She said Estabrook loves the outdoors and loves camping.
Hundreds of searchers have scoured Julian this week for the missing woman, but have come up short.
Sgt. Don Parker, search and rescue coordinator for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, said multiple agencies have helped in the extensive search, including officials from San Bernardino, Orange and Riverside counties.
Volunteers have also stepped up to help, with more than 300 people searching for Estabrook over the past seven days. Parker said the search will continue through the weekend, with crews searching from dawn until a few hours after dark.
“This is a human being that’s gone missing and we do want the community to help,” said Parker. “We’re doing everything we can. We always hope for the best, but it's been seven days. There’s still hope, even though it’s slim.”
Parker said searchers have honed in on the immediate area in and around the Julian campground, which spans about 26 acres. He said the terrain is mountainous and covered in thick brush, steep canyons and ravines. Parker said the area is also home to wild predators, including mountain lions, which is challenging for search crews.
Because mountain lions often prey at night, Parker said authorities must suspend the daily ground search once night falls. He said a helicopter is also aiding in the search, covering about 60 miles from above.
Parker said the last known potential sighting of Estabrook was on Sunday afternoon about a mile south of the campground, but it was not reported until Tuesday. Since then, he said authorities have received no substantial leads and asked anyone with any information to come forward.
Estabrook lives in Bonsall and is described as 5-foot-4 and 145 pounds with shoulder-length blonde hair. Detectives said she was wearing a teal top and white capri pants at the time of her disappearance.