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Massive search underway for Palo Alto couple, missing since Friday

Search and rescue operation in progress for Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin

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Carol Kiparsky, 77, and Ian Irwin, 72, of Palo Alto, have been reported missing out of Marin County since Feb. 14. Images courtesy Marin County Sheriff's Office.

Update: Searchers located missing Palo Alto residents Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin alive on Saturday, Feb. 22. Read our latest story here.

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A Palo Alto couple who had rented a room in Marin County last week and were due to check out Saturday morning have gone missing, prompting a search-and-rescue operation that stretched into Wednesday, according to the Marin County Sheriff's Office.

The office reported that Carol Kiparsky, 77, and Ian Irwin, 72, were last seen on Friday at a rented vacation cottage on Via De La Vista in the Inverness/Seahaven community, near the coast of Tomales Bay. They were due to check out Saturday morning but all of their belongings, including phone, wallets and vehicle, were left at the cottage. They had also missed an appointment on Sunday, the sheriff reported.

"This is highly out of character for them and after extensive searching and investigation Sunday afternoon and evening, no clues have been located," the sheriff's news release stated.

About 60 searchers from various agencies, including the Marin County Sheriff's Office, Marin County Search and Rescue, Inverness fire department, the California Highway Patrol, California State Parks, Marin County Fire Department and National Park Service investigated the disappearance throughout Sunday but could not locate the couple, according to the sheriff's office.

The search for the couple continued on Monday by land and air with a total of 136 search-and-rescue members from throughout the Bay Area, according to a tweet from the sheriff's office. The effort resumed Tuesday with 40 people, including K9 teams, unmanned aerial vehicles, boat crews and ground searchers, according to the sheriff's office.

Wednesday's search took along the water's edge in Inverness with assistance from a dive rescue team, a K9 team and Point Reyes National Seashore employees, according to the sheriff's office. The group used a remotely operated vessel and side scan sonar as part of the operation.

Kiparsky was described as Caucasian, 5 feet and 2 inches tall and 115 pounds with gray hair and blue eyes. Irwin was described as Caucasian, 6 feet and 1 inch tall, 175 pounds and bald with some gray hair and blue eyes.

Neighbor Connie Cotton said that Irwin and Kiparsky are an active couple who enjoy hiking and walking. "He's been working on a project in his backyard recently," she said, adding that she does not view them as "elderly."

Just days after the Palo Alto couple was reported missing, the Marin County Sheriff's Office announced it was also searching for a 76-year-old Robert Bennett who was last seen Monday afternoon around Valley Stone Trail Head in Big Rock Ridge, just about 25 miles away from the Palo Alto couple's last known location. He was found late Tuesday night at an undisclosed location and taken to a hospital where he was reunited with his family. The cases don't appear to be related.

Anyone who has seen either Kiparsky or Irwin any time since Thursday is asked to contact the Marin County Sheriff's Office at 415-479-2311.

Editor's note: This article incorrectly stated Kiparsky's height based on a Marin County Sheriff's Office press release. The information has been corrected.

Editorial Assistant Lloyd Lee contributed to this report.

Related content:

Looking 'beyond everywhere': Palo Alto couple remains missing after fourth day of searches

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Comments

25 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2020 at 10:02 am

Praying that they are found safe and soon. Please keep us updated.


9 people like this
Posted by thx1104
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2020 at 11:14 am

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by AJM
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 17, 2020 at 11:55 am

Please consider a donation in support of the rescue of these two wonderful neighbors & people.
I went to the site of the rescue worker shown in the news coverage and this seem a good way to help.
Marin County Search and Rescue.
Web Link


23 people like this
Posted by historyguy
a resident of Portola Valley
on Feb 17, 2020 at 1:53 pm

I hope the FBI is called in to investigate what could be an abduction. My two friends are calm, smart, experienced hikers, and good hearted. [Portion removed due to deletion of referenced comment.]


14 people like this
Posted by a friend
a resident of University South
on Feb 17, 2020 at 2:21 pm

Good people, I feel so helpless. Hoping for a positive outcome.


27 people like this
Posted by SCR
a resident of University South
on Feb 17, 2020 at 4:31 pm

We're friends of Carol & Ian and we've been in touch with the family.

The searchers are currently using horses, K9 teams, drones, helicopters, water teams and ground searchers. They have also utilized heat seeking cameras. We just made a donation in Carol & Ian's name to Marin Search and Rescue. We hope others will too. And, we continue to hope and pray for a speedy rescue.


18 people like this
Posted by SCR
a resident of University South
on Feb 17, 2020 at 6:16 pm

Just got an update from the family. The searchers haven't located them yet. They'll restart at 8A tomorrow morning. I was forwarded a map of what the search teams have covered but I don't know how to post it here. What they've covered is extensive and all over the place, plus flyovers on the inaccessible areas. ABC News says over 130 people are involved in the search.


14 people like this
Posted by MS
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 17, 2020 at 7:15 pm

Thank you for the updates SCR. Ian & Carol are very good friends of ours. We were expecting to see them this week. I am shocked and really appreciate knowing what is happening. Heartbreaking to think what could have happened. Could you please keep me in the loop? marthascherzer@yahoo.com


9 people like this
Posted by SCR
a resident of University South
on Feb 17, 2020 at 7:43 pm

To all of Carol & Ian's friends.

At the moment, the last known person to talk with them was early afternoon on Friday. Their disappearance was discovered by the cleaner Saturday morning. They were supposed to have checked out of their rental Saturday. If anyone has spoken with Ian or Carol sometime Friday, especially mid-afternoon or later, please contact Marin County Sheriff's office: 415-479-2311.


9 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 17, 2020 at 7:47 pm

CBS News report has more details: Web Link


6 people like this
Posted by SCR
a resident of University South
on Feb 17, 2020 at 8:49 pm

I've posted the search map on Nextdoor, for those who have access.


9 people like this
Posted by Hmm
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 18, 2020 at 2:08 am

We are so fortunate to live in the U.S., where law enforcement searches for missing people. Other countries don’t care.

[Portion removed.]


11 people like this
Posted by Bambi
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 18, 2020 at 2:35 am

I am stunned - they are my neighbors - they are great people and very active
I am praying they are found safe - I can not wrap my head around this news
I see them nearly every day -

Palo Alto resident and concerned neighbor


7 people like this
Posted by Rose
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 18, 2020 at 6:39 am

I’m keeping them in my thoughts, and I hope that they are found safely.


7 people like this
Posted by SCUBA
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Feb 18, 2020 at 9:35 am

[Post removed. Please don't post comments speculating on what may have happened to the couple.]



10 people like this
Posted by Trish
a resident of University South
on Feb 18, 2020 at 10:41 am

David and I hope our friends and neighbors are found safe and sound soon.


5 people like this
Posted by VS
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Feb 18, 2020 at 12:30 pm

Wish we knew how to help.


8 people like this
Posted by Elsa
a resident of Mountain View
on Feb 18, 2020 at 2:04 pm

Lovely couple, keeping them in my thoughts and praying for a safe return to Palo Alto.


3 people like this
Posted by Pelican
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 18, 2020 at 5:20 pm

If you are not familiar with the area,it is easy to get lost.


6 people like this
Posted by Mikael
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 19, 2020 at 12:35 am

@Hmm, what do you know about other countries don't care?

You have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 19, 2020 at 8:16 pm

According to tv news reports, family have arrived in Marin from elsewhere. The news coming out is that there are no leads and the search continues.

If the family are reading this, our thoughts and prayers are with you all as this continues.


1 person likes this
Posted by Careful where you hike
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Feb 20, 2020 at 9:15 am

Lots of Cartel run illegal Marijuana growers in that area. Really not a wise to go hike in many parts of California anymore,


3 people like this
Posted by POTUS Search Assistance?
a resident of another community
on Feb 20, 2020 at 9:25 am

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by From Other Areas
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Feb 20, 2020 at 3:23 pm

> Lots of Cartel run illegal Marijuana growers in that area. Really not a wise to go hike in many parts of California anymore,

^^^ as in Mexican cartel? There have been countless reportages of such encampments throughout California public lands.

Most of them are armed.


4 people like this
Posted by Local
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2020 at 12:04 pm

Breaking news, they've been found alive!

This is fantastic news. Please keep us all informed of developments. Thanks to all search and rescue who made this happen.


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