Aeronautics Engineer Missing in Northwestern California


Duane Masher

Duane Masher [According to family, he weighs about 20 pounds less now than he did in this photo.]

Jared Masher’s father, Duane, is missing. Duane, an aeronautical engineer, lived in Orange County but, as reported here earlier, his car was located at the Redwoods River Resort across from Confusion Hill north of Leggett. Jared last spoke to his father on the 10th by phone and they argued. A neighbor told Jared that he saw Duane on the 11th.

“[On the 14th], I got an email from my grandmother that said she hadn’t spoken to him since the 10th,” Jared explained.  A little worried, Jared who lives several hours away called a friend who lived not far from his father. She offered to go check on Duane.

When she got there, his apartment was open. The friend took photos of the Triplex’s interior and sent the images to Jared. That’s when he became even more concerned. “If he were to move, there were items in there I would have expected him to take— his trophies, his diplomas, his surfboard, his skis,” said Jared.

Then Jared learned that his father’s car had been found about nine hour’s north near Leggett. “When I showed up [at the Triplex] a few hours later, there was a notification from the CHP to get in touch with them about his vehicle,” explained Jared.

Then Jared walked into his father’s home. “I noticed what looked like his cell phone was smashed,” Jared explained. Later, he discovered that inside the oven were the remains of his father’s computer hard drives. They’d been cooked so they were unusable.

Jared made arrangements for his dad’s 2004 Cadillac to be brought to him by a relative. Inside the car, his dad had left items that Jared believes he wouldn’t have left willingly including the dog tags of a special pet. “These were some of the most important things in his life, Cody’s dog tags, the ashes of his sister, my aunt were still in the vehicle…The keys to the vehicle were also found…” Duane had also left clothing and his social security card but his wallet was gone.

Duane has left for weeks at a time before but not without telling a family member, Jared said. “He will let people know that he’s going to be ducking out for a little bit…Like when he was in the mountains skiing…There is always warning. Then he pops back up a few weeks later.”

Jared describes his father as “very intelligent” and “gentle.” He said, “I’ve never seen him get into a physical altercation.”

Jared has a theory about his father’s disappearance, “It looks like he was fleeing his residence,” Jared explained. “He left the things he had to leave and packed the most important.” He can’t explain why his father’s Cadillac was found near Leggett.

Duane is approximately 5’11” and weighs 175 to 185 lbs. He has dirty blonde hair with gray streaks and green eyes. He is 56 years old.

If you have any information, please contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at (714) 647-7040.

Earlier Chapter: Missing Orange County Man’s Vehicle Found Near Leggett




  • Sounds like he went strait Jason Bourne.

  • Holy cow, that’s as weird as it gets. I hope he is OK.

  • It unfortunately is looking like a self harm situation.

  • Looks to me like whoever he was running from caught up to him.
    Sounds like a new Netflix series…

  • Does he haven any mental illness? That would make more sense.

  • So, any context to the arguement?

    Could easily explain the smashed phone and most important items in the car.

    Hope he is just on a long spirit hike in the woods.

  • sketchy at best hope he shows up safe.

  • I hope the son has filed the Missing Person’s Report as well as gotten legal advice as to how to close up his father’s apartment and store the possessions to protect them from theft. The local police where his father lived should do a check of the apartment before he moves or cleans anything up. If the son has the funds a competent PI can also document the evidence. Identity theft protection should occur for his father as well as freezing of bank accounts.

    May his father be found safe and of a sound mind.

  • It sounds to me like he was kidnapped, his important research evidence destroyed, and his car dumped in a remote area that has a reputation for “self” harm.

  • Is his hair longer and kind of curly than the pic here?

  • Sounds like an x-files episode, does the son know what he was working on? Maybe good to contact his fellow workers.
    Maybe he disappeared himself, he wouldnt be the first to run to the hills to hide.
    Regardless, i hope his family finds him, its so hard to have no idea whats happening with a loved one.
    Would recommend hiring a private investigator.
    Let our community know if we can help besides keeping eyes out for him.

  • Growing up i remember my Grandparents saying” if you want to disappear this is the place” sad but true. I hope they find him soon

  • I have been reluctant to post, but from the first time I heard of this, I assumed it was a suicide. Mr. Masher is in the highest risk group being a middle aged white male. I could see someone driving up and walking into the redwoods to find a peaceful place. I believe it is a cultural thing, where the role of the male to provide and support is not as prevalent as it once was and the fact that by middle age, the role is also diminished as children move on to their own lives. After hearing about the hard drives, it seems very likely.

  • Redwoods Resort is next to the very tall bridge over the Eel River by Confusion Hill. Have they searched under the bridge?

  • It may be impossible for him to explain to his son what he is doing or going through, if he doesn’t understand. Whatever drove him may be too much to deal with. I understand leaving it all. Every single bit of it. And you can both loose and find yourself here.

  • I wonder if he and his sister had family memories of going to the Redwood River Resort. It was named Cabana back in their childhood. Maybe he was looking for a place to scatter her ashes?

  • Recover the data
    Jared Masher has probably done it already, but I recommend seeing about getting the data off of those hard drives. And if he hasn’t done that, then this site is a company that specializes in recovering data from catastrophically damaged hard drives:

  • If she were omnipotent like some think, wouldn’t she be our President rn? Plus, f’d up comment to make here. I just hope this man is found safe.

  • we’re is Jim Rockford when you need him .

    • Better still, where’s some of the Numerous CSI Teams from the Idiot Box???!!! They could find him & still be back at the station for lunch!!! Seriously though I hope he is found soon as well as alive & well!!!

  • I have ashes of loved ones. I take them only when I move! I don’t think a suicidal person cooks their laptop. Someone in fear for their life takes a loved ones ashes and cooks their computer. Hello?!?

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