Search under way for 20-year-old from Lafayette

(KGO)
September 6, 2012 7:09:19 PM PDT
Family and friends of a missing college student are using a massive Facebook campaign to help in the search for the young Lafayette man. Brett Olson, a 20-year-old Cal Poly student, vanished Sunday while on a rafting trip along the Sacramento River.

Brett Olson graduated from Acalanes High School three years ago. His former principal calls him a popular student with a huge personality and says that's why thousands of people have friended a Facebook group called "Let's bring Brett home" and are praying for his safe return.

At Acalanes High School, fliers are plastered in the windows of cars througout the parking lot but it's the Sacramento River and the heavily-wooded area surrounding it that have become ground zero for the search for Olson. On Thursday, law enforcement teams used cadaver dogs to sniff for human remains and so far, have turned up nothing.

Olson's parents have joined the search effort, handing out fliers with his picture. "It's the parent's worst nightmare," said Acalanes High School Principal Aida Glimme. She was Brett's principal at Acalanes High School and maintains a close relationship with the family. "Brett was a big part of this campus and still is," she said.

Brett has two younger siblings who are still students at Acalanes High, which is why the news of his disappearance has been particularly difficult. "It was very emotional. The campus is emotional about it. The community is emotional about it. Our thoughts are with them and hopefully this will end OK," Glimme said. After learning Brett was missing, some Acalanes High students constructed a message of support for their former classmate and friend.

Brett was one of hundreds who went to Chico for an annual Labor Day weekend gathering. A video, posted on YouTube, was taken on Sunday at a spot they call "Beer Can Beach." It's the last place Brett was seen and according to investigators, his parents are combing through other similar video clips to see if they can spot their son.

Social media is also being used to raise awareness. Olympian Kerri Walsh posted a message on her Facebook page with the hashtag #FindBrettOlson and the "Let's bring Brett home" page has more than 48,000 members.

"He has to be found," family friend Andria Dinerman told ABC7 News. At St. Perpetua Parish in Lafayette, where the Olson family worship's regularly, they're using one more tool to find Brett. "We have power of prayer and the power of the support of the people in the community that are coming together. He will be found," she said.

Olson is 6'1" and about 160lbs with hazel eyes. The Glenn County Sheriff's Department is leading the investigation and asks that anyone with information please contact them at 530-934-6431.


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