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Southern California man missing in Mendocino County

  • Erik Lamberg

A Southern California man has been missing in Mendocino County for a week after car troubles halted his drive to Oregon, Mendocino County sheriff's officials said Monday.

Erik Lamberg, 51, of Hermosa Beach was last seen on Monday, May 27, at the Budget Inn in Laytonville, said his wife Samantha Lamberg. He apparently checked out Tuesday.

She called authorities at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday after she didn't hear from him.

Authorities found his car Saturday in a ditch about 20 miles west of Willits on Sherwood Road. His keys, wallet and cellphone were gone but the rest of his belongings were still in the car, his wife said.

“His car got stuck in the mud, it looked like he'd tried to move it by putting bark under the wheels,” she said.

Erik Lamberg had been suffering from bipolar disorder and was heading to Oregon to seek treatment, she said.

On May 26, Lamberg had driven Highway 1 up the coast and broke down somewhere near highways 271 and 101, his wife said. His car was towed to Salas Auto Repair in Laytonville and Lamberg stayed two nights at the Budget Inn.

Lamberg's wife said the silver 2004 Honda Odyssey was not repaired because of the holiday weekend and she guesses her husband somehow got the car running again because he told Budget Inn staff that he'd parked the car at the motel lot.

It's unknown why the Honda ended up miles to the south on a rugged, dirt road where people on all-terrain vehicles discovered it Saturday.

Deputies found a large man's bare footprints in the mud surrounding the car, Samantha Lamberg said.

Lamberg is 6-foot-5, 200 pounds with sandy-blonde hair and blue eyes. He may be suspicious of people offering help but has no history of violence, his wife said.

Anyone with information about the case can call the Sheriff's Office dispatch at 463-4086.

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.

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