Missing man’s car found in dropoff

04/03/2014

After nearly a month-long search for a missing 93-year-old man that included an Oakland helicopter swooping over Nicasio, a San Rafael patrol boat scanning the Marin coastline, another boat searching the Corte Madera Creek and a search and rescue team retracing the steps of Robert Leslie Davis, the man’s car was found wrecked and abandoned at the bottom of a slope north of Dogtown on Tuesday. No one had seen any sign of Mr. Davis since he left his daughter after dinner at Marin Joe’s in Corte Madera and drove off into windy weather around 8 p.m. on Feb. 26. Nearly five weeks later, a joint investigation by the National Park Service, Marin County Search and Rescue and the California Highway Patrol responded to a tip and found the man’s car near the edge of 13 Turns, where shrubby hills shift into steep grades forested on either side by eucalyptus trees. Mr. Davis’s 2001 Toyota Camry was found nearly 120 feet down an embankment. The scene is being investigated as an accident, said Andrew Barclay, a public information officer with the C.H.P. Gray-haired and gray-eyed, Mr. Davis was born in Philadelphia and served in the Army Air Corps, flying B25s and B26s in New Guinea during World War II. He later joined the reserves and moved west to fly planes at Hamilton Field in Novato, before retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1986. Mr. Davis never made it home after dining with his daughter; he turned left, presumably to head home, but his family said he could have become disoriented due to a medical condition. A CalTrans employee conducting a routine check discovered the car Tuesday morning: he took the registration from the car’s glovebox and brought it to the C.H.P. station in Corte Madera, Officer Barclay said. Later in the afternoon as rain began to pour, a body was found nearby. The sheriff’s coroner division began forensic examinations on Wednesday to identify the individual.