Search expands for missing Palo Alto couple in Marin County

ByAnser Hassan via KGO logo
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
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The search is expanding for a missing couple that was last seen at a rental home in Inverness around noon on Friday.

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- The search for a missing Palo Alto couple continued near Point Reyes National Seashore for a second day on Monday.

More than 130 search and rescue volunteers trekked the dense vegetation along the vast hills, assisted by drones, the K9 unit and those on horseback, looking for Carol Kiparsky,77, and Ian Irwin, 72. They've been missing since Friday.

Sergeant Brenton Schneider, with the Marin County Sheriff's Office, says the couple was vacationing at an Airbnb in Inverness. The owner called the police when the couple didn't check out on Saturday.

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Schneider says the couple stayed at this Airbnb before, and that they are avid hikers and know the area well. He says the couple did leave their cell phones, wallets and car at the Airbnb.

"Considering the amount of personal effects that were left behind, I think that's definitely a sign that they intended on coming back," says Sgt. Schneider, but adds, "Considering the last time they had contact with was family was on Friday, I think it definitely increases the urgency of our search."

Arif and Eiman Gamal, who live in Albany, hike these trails a lot. They say they are surprised to hear of a couple going missing because the area is popular with hikers, that even if someone gets lost, hikers will usually run into people who can help.

"We hike all the time. We go very far. Sometimes more than 15, 20 miles on foot. And we (run into people)," says Arif. "You can get tired and take it easy. But otherwise, you should be able to get to the road at some point."

But Eiman says it is strange to hear that the couple left behind their cell phones.

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"When I go for a hike, I don't only go with my cell phone, I take my cell phone and charger, just in case," she says.

They are hoping the couple is found quickly.

Schneider says Irwin did hurt his ankle before this trip, which may have limited how far they could hike. The couple's family members are flying in to assist in the search.

He says there is no evidence of any foul play.

"We are still considering this a search and rescue. This hasn't gone to a recovery. We still believe there is a strong likelihood they could still be alive, and that is why we have so many ground crews out looking for them," he says.