Former San Jose Mercury News reporter missing in Valley Fire

Credit: Neft Family via Bay Area News Group

MIDDLETOWN (KRON) – A former reporter for the San Jose Mercury News has been reported missing by his family, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Leonard Neft, 69, whose home in Anderson Springs was destroyed in the raging Valley Fire, last spoke with his wife on Saturday evening, as the fire swept through the area.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that authorities said Leonard Neft’s burned car was found Tuesday evening on the route he would have taken to try to escape.

His wife, Adela Neft, told the paper she repeatedly called her husband Saturday to tell him to leave, but he said he didn’t think the evacuation and didn’t see any immediate threats.

“He told me: ‘I don’t smell smoke; I don’t see any smoke; I don’t see any ashes,” Adela Neft told San Jose Mercury News. “But I kept telling him, ‘You need to go anyway!’

Neft’s 26-year-old daughter, Joslyn, spoke to San Jose Mercury News and told them she is terrified that her father is out there somewhere, dehydrated and in need of help.

“There’s still a chance,” she said. “We just need people to go out there because the law enforcement agencies are not willing or able. Nobody’s looking out there.”

Authorities say cadaver dogs will be sent in to search.

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