Search for Patricia Tolhurst continues

Union Democrat staff

The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate the disappearance of a Sonora woman whose car was found a week ago in the Donnell Vista parking lot on upper Highway 108.

Sheriff's Search and Rescue team members and volunteers - a dozen people in all, operating out of a temporary command center - scoured the overlook area on Thursday searching for Patty Sue Tolhurst, 46.

An initial search a week ago yielded no clues, but a search area was established using GPS mapping. The hunt resumed Wednesday, said Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Johnson.

He said snow is melting in the area now with warmer weather, making searching more productive. He said the Search and Rescue team has borrowed a boat from Tri-Dam, operator of the Donnell Reservoir, to search the water 1,300 feet below the overlook.

Johnson said the team will search until the plotted area has been thoroughly covered and leads run out.

Tolhurst, 46, was reported missing April 22.

Her abandoned Toyota 4-Runner was found shortly afterward at Donnell Vista. It was unlocked and her purse was inside, the Sheriff's Office said.

Law enforcement officials said Tolhurst, owner of Patty's Shack restaurant in East Sonora, was last seen by a friend April 18.

For the complete story, see the May 2, 2014, editio of The Union Democrat.

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