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Searchers find body in wilderness area where deputy went missing

October 20, 2009 |  4:20 pm

Authorities today said they believed they had found the body of an L.A. County sheriff's deputy missing since Sunday in the Cleveland National Forest.

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.

About 100 people from various agencies, including the Los Angeles County and Riverside County sheriff's departments are combing through a hilly and rugged area west of Corona, where Tombol’s pickup 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.

Officials said at a news conference this afternoon that the searcher found a body in the area about 2:20 p.m. today. They believe it's the deputy, but no tests have yet been done to confirm the identity.

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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