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Missing Petaluma man Roy Martinez found safe

  • Roy Martinez.

A Petaluma father of two and businessman missing since June 3 was found Friday night after he had apparently spent the last three weeks walking, mostly on railroad tracks, from Petaluma to Sacramento and back to Napa.

J. Roy Martinez, 51, ended a multi-week search by police and community members when he called his wife and told her he was in Napa, police said.

“(I felt) 100 percent relief when I heard his voice. It just felt like God had answered my prayers, answered everyone's prayers,” said wife Barbara Martinez.

She drove to Napa and found him thin and dehydrated, with an injured ankle. She took him to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Santa Rosa and called police.

Roy Martinez, a Harvard MBA and analyst with Exit Strategies Group, told officers he left because had been feeling stressed and wanted to get away from work and other things that were causing him duress. Lindsey Sondag, a close family friend who has become a spokeswoman for the family and works as a mental health crisis counselor, said it likely wasn't that simple.

“It wasn't a cognitive choice,” she said.

Martinez has suffered from depression before, Sondag said. It appears he didn't know what he was doing when he walked away from his car June 3, leaving his wallet, cellphone and other belongings behind, she said.

Martinez had gone missing at least once before, driving to Napa and spending the night in his car before calling his wife the next day unable to say exactly what had happened, Sondag said.

Police say Martinez left Petaluma on June 3 by foot and began wandering along a trek that would take him 200 miles across Northern California. First he headed north, ending up in Healdsburg. Then he walked back to Petaluma, spent a day there and walked east, spending time in Sonoma, Napa and Davis before stopping in Sacramento, according to police.

Martinez sometimes walked along railroad tracks, other times roads or paths, according to information from police and Barbara Martinez. They said it appears he mostly ate fruit he found on trees.

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