Missing man found dead in Tilden Park

February 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
A Concord man missing since Friday was found dead on a steep hillside on the Contra Costa County side of Tilden Regional Park this morning, East Bay Regional Park District police Lt. Dave Dubowy said.

Christopher Bruce, 39, was found at about 9:30 a.m. in a remote area between Wildcat Canyon Road and Curran Trail, Dubowy said.

It was not immediately clear how he died. The Contra Costa County coroner's office has taken the body and will be conducting an autopsy. The search effort began at about 11:30 p.m. Friday after an East Bay Regional Park District police officer found an abandoned vehicle near the Mineral Springs area of the park, Dubowy said.

The officer ran the license plate and discovered that the vehicle belonged to Bruce, who had been reported missing in Concord. Police searched the area around the vehicle Friday night on foot and with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office's helicopter, but eventually suspended their efforts because of the darkness and difficult terrain.

At 8 a.m. Saturday, 60 members of the Contra Costa County Search and Rescue team began searching for Bruce, along with Regional Park District personnel, Dubowy said. Rescuers also brought in six teams of dogs to help track Bruce's path.

Thinking Bruce could have gone into Lake Anza, rescuers also sent two dogs trained to sniff water out onto the lake in a boat, Dubowy said. Rescue crews again suspended the search Saturday night because of darkness, but resumed their efforts at 8 a.m. today.

"Search and rescue did an outstanding job," Dubowy said. The case has been transferred back to the Concord Police Department for investigation, Dubowy said.