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Santa Ana College student is missing

December 14, 2009 |  4:19 pm

James Wernke Authorities, family and friends were frantically searching for a 21-year-old college student who appears to have vanished Saturday as he was about to secure a full athletic scholarship to Cal State Long Beach.

James Patrick Wernke was last seen shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday near 3000 Sunnywood Dr. in Fullerton walking a yellow Labrador retriever named “Kealie,” said Lt. Alex Bastreri of the Fullerton Police Department. Wernke left behind his car, keys, wallet, and laptop computer, Bastreri said. The dog is also missing.

Wernke is a Santa Ana College student and pitcher on their baseball team who was looking at a full ride to Cal State Long Beach if he did well enough on his finals this week, authorities said. His family, who flew out from Colorado, said it was “out of character” for Wernke to disappear, because he is normally in constant communication with his family and he doesn’t drink, do drugs, or party, Bastreri said.

“We haven’t heard a peep out of him,” Bastreri said. “No cell activity, bank activity, absolutely nothing. He hasn’t spoken to any of his close friends and relatives.”

Wernke is 6 foot 2, 190 to 200 pounds, has short blond hair and brown/blue eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Fullerton Police Department at (714) 738-6800 or (714) 620-5104.

-- Victoria Kim

Photo: James Wernke. Credit: Fullerton Police Department