Body Found January 2017 Identified as Man Missing From Alderpoint Area

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department:

Mitchell Hernandez

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has identified the body of a man discovered on the South Jetty beach on Jan. 6, 2017.

The body has been identified as missing person Mitchell G. Hernandez. Hernandez was reported missing to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 23, 2016. He was last seen in the Alderpoint area on Nov. 20, 2016. Hernandez was 47 years old at the time he went missing.

Hernandez’s cause of death was determined to be consistent with drowning.

Earlier Chapter:



  • At least the family will have some closure, if the water was high enough I suppose he could have made it there, crazy.

  • I’m confused. If he’s been missing since Nov 2016 & they just found the body (after supposedly being in water for over a year), doesn’t that mean that decomposition is beyond being able to determine if he drowned? How can they determine cause of death at this point?

    I’m glad his family finally has some answers & maybe it will give them some peace & closure.

  • Alder Point is notoriously called “Murder Mountain” for a reason. I suspect every single missing person and suspicious death on that mountain. It seems odd to be swimming there the week of Thanksgiving and isn’t it quite a distance from the town store where he was last seen and the river bed where his backpack was found? Nothing adds up here.

    • The Hermit of Grizzly Mountain

      You are certainly not the first to incorrectly conflate Alderpoint with Rancho Sequoia/”Murder Mountain”. I’m sure you will not be the last.

  • It does seem ” Fishy ” No pun intended . Drugs in his system maybe ?

  • “Murder Mountain” is actually several miles from Alderpoint when driving. And is nowhere near the North Fork of the Eel river.

  • The geography of these reports seems inconsistent, probably because the various reporters are not local. The Main stem of the Eel River flows by Alderpoint, and there is a local swimming hole not too far from the Alderpoint Store. Up the Alderpoint road a few miles towards Garberville is the entrance to the Rancho Sequoia subdivision. The Rancho is quite extensive, with miles of roads and many parcels. To say someone was seen in the Rancho is, in geographic specificity, like saying they were seen in Fortuna. The Alderpoint Store is in the town itself and is some miles from most of the Rancho, but it’s a downhill walk. We don’t know where he started, and we don’t know that he reached the store. Perhaps he intended to but went to the river first. Now about the river: The North Fork runs into the Eel a few miles east of Alderpoint, and has no part in this drama it seems. About 10 miles or so west of (downstream) Alderpoint the Eel flows past Fort Seward. A popular boating trip consists of putting in at the Alderpoint bridge and taking out at the Fort Seward bridge. In the winter the river flow is quite high, and could easily carry a body to the sea. He was reported missing in late November. The evidence reported suggests to me that he went down by the river, set down his backback , got in to the water and drowned. Late November is usually pretty chilly, so if they hadn’t mentioned mental issues this scenario would be more unlikely. We have had our share of murders in Alderpoint and the Rancho, but not every death is a murder. Sometimes people accidentally die, and without more evidence than the press releases offer, this seems to have been one of those times.

  • Mitchell was an childhood friend of mine and I’m sad to hear of this news. We may never know what truly happened but it does seem a bit sketchy. As mentioned now and back in November 2016 the geographics dont add up. Also, since he was listed as a missing person why was there such a long gap on making a match? From Jan 2017 to now, that’s down right upsetting.

  • Just to inform you of the true and correct details MY BROTHER Mitchell was found 2 months after being reported missing. His body was then cremated (what was left after decomposition) and held at County Corners Office as Jon Doe. He had no ID on his person. Due to Humboltd County Sheriff’s Department being understaffed and uninterested my brothers remains sat for a year. The heart break and the anguish of not knowing what happened to him has been a nightmare for my mother and his children. I hope no one would ever have to feel the pain of having your son or daughter or a loved one missing. So i ask that you PLEASE refrain from making nasty comments in regaurds to my brother. It could very well be one of your loved ones. Give my brother the Respect that he deserves. MAY YOU NOW REST IN PEACE BROTHER. Sleep with the Angels.
    Mitchell G. Hernandez
    July 23,1969-November 20,2016

    • Sandra Barragan-Zuniga

      Nothing can ever make the pain go away. I can only pray that your family can find peace that he is no longer alone. My brother and Mitchell were great friends since Cassell. Sending condolences and love.

      • I am a long time friend of the family and before anyone starts talking Bullshit just know his family is hurting. He wasnt at “Murder Mountain” (widow mountain). He was in Alderpoint. Very clearly stated. A lot of you knew is Father Gabe, who precdeded him in death. Please comment with respect. So sorry Natalie and the rest of the family. R.I.P. Mitchell. R.B.

    • Geez, I hate to hear that. Im sorry for the stress you’ve gone through.

      Police ineptness and disinterest is unfortunate and too common.

      Det. Josh Ford @ TCSO, you listening?

    • So sorry for your loss❤God bless you and your family.

  • Humbolt Co. Coroners office’s has already shown they don’t do the job they sworn to do, instead they sell personal property of the dead to each other and sure seem not to work to close missing person case’s. They should be criminally and civilly liable.

  • Mitch's Sister;

    I want to personally thank those who never gave up hope along with me. To those who helped me put the cross at the river bar just incase my brother was lost and would know that its there where he needed to be…and those who continued to search with me until i was notified to search no more. Your prayers,love,support will NEVER be forgotten. Thank You from the bottom of my Heart! Now my mother can lay her son to rest.

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