Body of missing man found in Bodie State Park

Authorities believe Jay Lafontaine's Jeep got stuck in ravine

The body of a Pleasanton man who was reported missing after failing to return from a camping trip last week has been found more than 200 miles away from home in a park east of Yosemite National Park.

A Mono County search and rescue team notified Pleasanton police at 10:30 p.m. Thursday that 48-year-old Jay Lafontaine had been found in Bodie State Park, about three miles from where his black Jeep was found earlier in the day.

Lafontaine was expected to return home Dec. 2 and last spoke to his family via his cell phone on Nov. 27, the day he left for the trip, according to Pleasanton police.

Investigators believe Lafontaine's Jeep got stuck in a ravine. Footprints in the snow indicated he was trying to walk out of the area for assistance, police said.

Authorities indicated there were no signs of a struggle or foul play. The cause of his death hasn't been determined.

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Posted by MainStreetDiva
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 11, 2009 at 11:45 am

MainStreetDiva is a registered user.

We were so hoping we would be found alive. Our hearts send prayers to this man's family and friends.

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Posted by M
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Dec 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm

So sorry for your loss.

Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Birdland
on Dec 11, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Im so sorry, My condolances to the family.

Like this comment
Posted by Matt
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Dec 11, 2009 at 1:25 pm

So sorry to hear. My heart is broken for your family.

Like this comment
Posted by Amanda
a resident of Mission Park
on Dec 11, 2009 at 2:51 pm

So sad! I will keep his family in my prayers.

Like this comment
Posted by SJ
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 11, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Jay was a friend of mine from Foothill High School. Although we didn't keep in touch after high school, some of our mutual friends did, and I'm very sorry to hear about his passing. He was a great guy.

Like this comment
Posted by Mike Lutz
a resident of Dublin
on Dec 13, 2009 at 11:22 pm

I am heartbroken at his loss especially when I think of his family.

I made some bad decisions in the Sierra winter when backpacking during the late 1970s and early 1980s but I survived...twice. I only wish I could speak to others about not venturing into ANY part of the Sierra above 3000 feet after the autumn, even if "no snow" is predicted. Twice I was caught in the early AM with surprise snowstorms.

The first time was in 1976. Three days after Christmas. My buddy, Chuck Bidwell, and I decided to drive to the Yosemite and backpack up from the Valley floor. At 3:00 pm it was hot and we have pictures of us without shirts. At 11:00 pm, clear skies... at 7:00 am at least 2 inches of snow... at 9:00 am we were walking through at least 8 inches of snow to find Tioga Pass. The only reason why we survived was that a ranger happened to drive east on the Tioga Pass Road to retrieve some stranded driver's personal articles. He gave us a ride.

Chuck told me two days later that 5 other people died during that storm. Be wise and respect the Sierra and all mountain ranges.

Like this comment
Posted by t5ue
a resident of Danbury Park
on Dec 14, 2009 at 10:53 am

Reminds me of Evan Tanner. Very sad. Unless done with a perfect gear list including beacon, GPS, satalite phone and a vast skill set single person camping anywhere further than a mile or two from civilization is dangerous. The Sierra's are especially dangerous. I have had a close call out there and was with two other guys. Sorry for the loss.

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Posted by Dee
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2009 at 8:40 pm

I did not know your husband, father or son but my heart goes out to you and your family in this sad Holiday season. God only knows for sure what happened to him but no matter how he died I know that you will forever grieve for him. My hope is that he did not suffer so at least that may give you some peace. Remember the good times, the laughs and love that he had for you. God bless you. I wish I knew some way to help you through this difficult time. I am soooo sorry for your loss.

Like this comment
Posted by Jerry
a resident of Oak Hill
on Dec 15, 2009 at 1:21 am

This family has my deepest sympathy...

I'm not being critical but in events such as this never, never leave the vehicle. The vehicle is easier to spot from the air than a person on the ground and offers a certain amount of protection from the elements. Conditions may be hard but if properly outfitted(clothing)one can survive for several days until rescued...

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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