Missing Man Found Dead This Morning Was Attending Event at Mendocino Magic

Press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office:

mcso Mendocino County Sheriff's Office MCSOOn 06-11-2018 at approximately 8:18 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were notified of a missing person last seen at 3000 Branscomb Road in Laytonville, California.

The location was a 600 acre rural property that is maintained as a private campground and event center, known as Mendocino Magic.

Upon arrival at the location, Deputies were informed that on 06-09-2018 Joshua Piszczek was on the property and had gone missing.

It was reported Piszczek had been attending an organized music festival event at the campground. On the afternoon of 06-09-2018 Piszczek went swimming in the lake at the campground and was last seen by his girlfriend sitting on a dock moored to the shore of the lake.

After a short time, the girlfriend looked back and Piszczek was gone. The girlfriend, along with several other event goers searched the area for Piszczek thinking he might have left the lakeside on foot. After 2 days, and Piszczek not returning, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted.

Deputies searched the area of the lake on foot during nighttime hours after receiving the report, however the area is steep with rugged terrain with lots of tree and brush coverage.

On 06-12-2018 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team was sent to the location.  An Incident Command Post was established and searchers began searching, with special focus on the lake.

The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team had one diver in the lake. The Sheriff’s Office requested Cal Fire assistance by having Copter 101 from the CAL FIRE Howard Forest Helitack Base assist by searching from the air as the lake had water clarity of about 10 feet in depth.  Additionally members of the Little Lake Fire Department Water Rescue Team and Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue responded to assist with inflatable boats and Kayaks on the lake.

Having no luck finding Piszczek, mutual aid was requested from the California Office of Emergency Services and plans were set in place for additional searching on 06-13-2018 to include surface and sub surface searching of the lake.

On 06-13-2017 2018 as resources were arriving and checking into the Incident Command Post for their search assignments,  a Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputy arrived at the lake at approximately 7:18 P.M. a.m. and observed what he thought was human remains floating in the lake, near where the missing person was last seen.

The remains were removed and identified as being the missing person, Joshua Piszczek. No foul play is suspected at this point, however an autopsy is pending.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to the thank the following agencies for their response and assistance:
CAL FIRELittle Fire DepartmentSouthern Humboldt Technical RescueCalifornia Governor’s Office of Emergency ServicesSonoma County Search and RescueMarin County Search and RescueContra Costa County Search and RescueSan Mateo County Search and RescueBay Area Mountain Search and Rescue (BAMRU)Napa County Search and RescueSolano County Search and RescueCalifornia Explorer Search and Rescue (CAL-ESAR)

Earlier Chapter: Body Found in Laytonville Pond After Extensive Search



  • Attending a music festival in Laytonville at Camp Magic, one can only wonder what type of illicit drugs this poor man was on at the time he fell in the water.

  • Kym, Mendo sherrif has some dates and time wrong. The third from last paragraph the year is wrong. The time could not be 7:18 pm today as it is only 6:00 pm now.

  • Since the mutual aid agencies “were arriving and checking into the Incident Command Post for their search assignments” at the time the deputy spotted the victim, it was most likely this morning and a typo that should be 7:18 am rather than pm. That also corresponds to the information in the previous article that “a body was found in the Laytonville area this morning.”

    Either way, a sad ending.

  • Sure hope these folks had permits and liability insurance. Sad way to go. My condolences to the family of this man.

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