Photo courtesy Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Photo courtesy Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Photo courtesy Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

An avid mountain biker reported missing late Wednesday night by his wife was found uninjured in the canyons of San Juan Capistrano Thursday afternoon.

Orange County sheriff’s search-and-rescue team members combed the rugged area to find James Kretzschmar of Irvine, whose wife called police just before midnight Wednesday to report her 40-year-old husband missing.

She told police she had spoken with him earlier that day while traveling, but when she arrived home, he wasn’t there as expected, Irvine police spokeswoman Farrah Emami said.

The wife told police where her husband likes to go mountain biking, and investigators began their search in the canyons of Ortega Highway about 1 this morning and found his silver Mercedes-Benz about 2:30 a.m. in the Lazy W Ranch parking lot near a mountain biking trail off Ortega Highway, Emami said.

Searchers took a break at 4 a.m. and resumed the search for Kretzschmar at dawn. About 1 p.m., they heard a man yelling for help in the Lyon Canyon area, which is about five miles into the canyon from the San Juan Fire Station, according to Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock.

Kretzschmar would not tell searchers why he needed assistance or if he had gotten lost, the lieutenant said. He refused medical treatment, but was evaluated by paramedics anyway, Hallock said.

City News Service

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