Man Missing From Willow Creek Since Tuesday

Joe Crawford

Joe Crawford

Joe Crawford went for a walk in the woods south of Willow Creek after an argument with a family member on Tuesday about 5:30 p.m., said his sister Natasha Bussell. When he didn’t come back, his family grew worried.

“We started looking for him that night,” said Bussell. “He doesn’t have anything with him, not even a sweater or a jacket.” He doesn’t even have his phone, she explained. “He has suffered a heat stroke before so he may be disoriented.”

The locals call the area Joe went hiking the Rite Spot. It is across Hwy 299 from Campora Propane, said his sister. Family and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department were was searching the area on foot today. The Sheriff’s Department also has a helicopter up looking.

Crawford has blue eyes and dirty blonde hair, said his sister. He was last seen wearing dark blue jeans, a light blue shirt, a red hat with Bigfoot Supply on it and black shoes. He is 5’9″ and is 26-years-old.

If you have any information, please contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department at (707) 932-0310 or Joe’s mom at (530) 629-1694 or his sister at (707) 496-7112.

Joe Crawford




  • Praying for you all.

  • Another missing person. This is becoming an epidemic. Hope you’re safe at a friends house, Joe.

    • I agree too many strange occurrences already this year!!! All the wrecks of late not to mention several missing individuals & the stabbing death of the teenager in Arcata… again it brings to mind a John Lennon quote, Strange Days Indeed, Most Peculiar mamma!!!

  • Someone should go and ask at the “wooden” property. I went there over a year ago to ask about a missing cat and was approached by a man with a hand gun. The elderly lady who owns the ranch accused us of being the ones who were “growing” on her property. (Nope, just lost a cat) it was a creepy vibe and totally reminded me of the “Hills have eyes” movie. She also informed me that they have some sort of triggers that alert them anytime a person is on their land and I was not allowed to continue to come and look for him. So…. just saying

    • Margret Wooden is one of the most respected citizens of our community. We as community members must respect a person property and their rights.
      Nobody has the right to go on somebody’s property without permission.
      If their is a need to look for a missing person on the property, I’m sure the Woodens would allow that with permission…

    • @ local…Where is the Wooden property? Is it near the right spot,?

  • You know what show some respect for the family involved!!!

  • Praying he is found safe and sound.

  • Nah… your mom might get arrested AGAIN for dealing heroin.

  • Hope he just caught a ride and is sippin suds on the Beach… I will keep my eyes peeled

  • In reply to Local:
    The family name is Wooden, they’ve lived there a very long time. Margaret Wooden has been active
    in the Willow Creek China Flat Museum and the wild flower show that is held every year.
    Mr. Wooden is a retired Boy Scout Leader (Mrs Wooden was a strong, active supporter of the organization as well) and a strong believer in the second Amendment. If they
    defend their property it’s because they’ve had too many times when people did trespass, steal things,
    damage fruit tress and like that.
    If you were truly a WC local, you’d know more about them.
    I remember Mr. Wooden saying one time when the subject of having to surrender one’s firearms
    came up, and how did that sit with what Scouting taught about obeying the law? He said that I would
    resign because I couldn’t teach about an unjust law. It would have been a sacrifice for him, but he would
    have done it. Mrs. Wooden had been a professional musician, possibly in a woman’s band.
    They didn’t waste their time on people who just came and went but if you were around a while they’d offer
    good advice, like on gardening, irrigation tricks.

    Also: The location is called the “Rite Spot” Older small cabins, older single wide trailers…not a good reputation so he may have gone there for more than hiking.
    Hope they can locate him. The Bussell family have been around the area a long time, big place out on South Fork Road (south fork of the Trinity).

    • Thank you for the information about the Rite Spot. Natasha told me the Right Spot (spelled it for me) but I couldn’t find it. I finally decided it must be some local name not on a map.

      • “I finally decided it must be some local name not on a map.”

        I have that problem quite often with reports here and on LoCO. I know this is a small community county but as a person who likes to orient himself geographically when reading a news item it’s a constant source of frustration. I’ve lived in HumCo for six years, but am still stymied on occasion by references to the Rite Spot and the like.

        • As a reporter we have to balance the local names for specific spots with the need for people far away to have a general idea. Thus, descriptors like “woods south of Willow Creek” for the general public and specifics like “Joe went hiking the Rite Spot. It is across Hwy 299 from Campora Propane.”

          • Thanks, and yes that combination together with Google Maps certainly helps. But as you said, if the name isn’t on the map then only such additional details will clarify matters.

  • I hope he turns up safe and sound .

  • I’m hoping for a safe return!! Still praying. Stay safe Humboldt!

  • I lived in Willow Creek. I know where the Rite Spot is. Isn’t it pretty hot there right now to be needing a jacket. I hope he is well. I heard a lot has changed since I was there.

  • Lois McBath Reynolds

    I lived next door to the Rite Spot in the 40’s. The real name is “Wright”, it was built by Mr. Wright. Hope this helps.

  • Oh yes, willow creek i lived there in the 80s, right beside the golf course on a little street called shady ln. It was wonderful. I was falling trees for living, back when logging was actually logging, who remembers johnny walker, rex got, or lonny johnson. Good people to work for and good old days. I long for a chance to go back and do it all just one more time, but the clock does not turn back…remember these will be the good old days before long, cherish them

  • Kym, is there any update on this missing person?

  • stephanie byrd

    According to a friend of his dad he is still missing so everyone keep an eye open. She did say something about Hoopa connections/enemies.

  • The way it was when I lived there way back when is you didn’t just go ‘hiking’ in the woods because there are too many growers who are more than anxious to shoot first and not bother to ask questions. I do pray all turns out well.

  • Cherie Johnson

    Possible video exists showing him at a local convenience store,but law enforcement not letting the family view it. Why?

  • He was found today in the river.

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