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Crews search Cleveland National Forest for missing L.A. County sheriff's deputy [Updated]

October 20, 2009 |  9:39 am

Officers and deputies from several departments are searching the Cleveland National Forest today for an L.A. County Sheriff's deputy missing since Sunday.

Zoltan_Tombol  Deputy Zoltan Tombol, 42, of Yorba Linda, was last seen Sunday morning when his wife assumed he had left home to go hiking or jogging, said Brea Police Lt. Darrin Devereux. Tombol's wife reported him missing Sunday evening after he failed to pick up his son from a relative’s house, Devereux said.

[Updated 4:12 p.m.: Los Angeles and Riverside county sheriff's deputies announced that they had discovered a body that may be Zoltan's. The body was found about 2:20 p.m. and taken to the Riverside County coroner's office. An autopsy will be conducted tomorrow, authorities said.]

About 100 people from various agencies, including the Los Angeles and Riverside sheriff's departments are combing through a hilly and rugged area west of Corona, where Tombol’s pick-up truck was found Monday on Green River Road, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.

The search includes canine units, ATVs and two helicopters, he said. Whitmore said his department is taking part because search and rescue is their area of expertise and Tombol is one of their employees.

“We’re very much involved,” Whitmore said. “More than 100 people are searching right now, and most of them are from the sheriff’s department.”

Tombol has been with the department for 19 years and works in the training division.

-- Raja Abdulrahim

Photo Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.

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