Donald Thomas

6/13/16 - Members of the Fresno County Crime Scene Unit have taken fingerprints from the victim and confirmed that they do positively match those of 77 year old Donald Thomas.


6/11/16 - Late Saturday morning, members of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) team located the body of a man matching the description of a person they have been searching for since last Sunday.

Search and Rescue personnel located the person in rugged terrain within the search area.

The victim matches the description of Donald Thomas, a 77-year old Air Force veteran who was reported missing.  However official confirmation of the man’s identity will not be known until members of the Coroner’s Office conduct an examination.

Saturday marked the seventh day of search efforts.  On June 5th, Donald Thomas disappeared from his home located near E. Trimmer Springs and Sunnyslope Roads in Sanger.  The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team launched a search for Thomas that night and have been on scene since that time.  

Dozens of FSO deputies and volunteers who are part of the SAR team worked around the clock, combing areas around Pine Flat Lake to look for Thomas.  The FSO Boating and Dive Team, Off-Highway Vehicle Unit and Air Support Unit also assisted during the search.  High temperatures, poison oak and the threat of rattlesnakes impacted searchers throughout this mission.

On Saturday, 50 searchers and five search dogs from seven different agencies assisted on the search for Thomas.  Assisting the Fresno County Sheriff’s team during today’s effort was Madera County Sheriff’s Office, Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, Kern County Sheriff’s Office, California Rescue Dog Association, California Office of Emergency Services and California Explorer Search and Rescue.


6/9/16 - Dozens of Fresno County Sheriff Search and Rescue team members continue to search for any sign of Donald Thomas, but have not had any luck.

Thick brush in the hills is providing difficulties our team.  The FSO SAR Command Post has been established at Lakeview Marina at Pine Flat.


6/7/16 - The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) team continues to look for Mr. Thomas.  No new information or evidence of his whereabouts has been discovered.  Since the beginning of the call, a total of three dozen FSO deputies have been assigned to this case.

Overnight, a Silver Alert was issued.  This is a coordinated effort with the California Highway Patrol.  Below is a brief explanation of why a Silver Alert is used and the criteria it must meet.

The purpose of the Silver Alert program is to establish a quick response system designed to issue and coordinate alerts following the unexplained or suspicious disappearance of an elderly person, or a person who is developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired. The goal of a Silver Alert is to provide immediate information to the public about the missing person, including images or descriptions and the time and location last seen to speed the process to locate the person and return them to safety.

Upon activation of a Silver Alert, the California Highway Patrol will assist the investigating law enforcement agency by activating changeable message signs, issuing be-on-the-lookout alerts, sending Emergency Digital Information Service Messages and posting electronic flyers.

A Silver Alert will not be initiated by the California Highway Patrol unless it meets all the following criteria:

• The missing person is 65 years of age or older, developmentally disabled or cognitively impaired.

• The investigating agency has utilized all available local resources.

• The law enforcement agency determines that the person has gone missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances.

• The law enforcement agency believes that the person is in danger because of age, health, mental or physical disability, environment or weather conditions, that the person is in the company of a potentially dangerous person, or that there are other factors indicating that the person may be in peril.

• There is information available that, if disseminated to the public, could assist in the safe recovery of the missing person.

6/6/16 - Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing “at-risk” man.

Donald Thomas, age 77, disappeared around 5:00 pm Sunday from his home located near E. Trimmer Springs and Sunnyslope Roads in Sanger.

Thomas is believed to have gone for a walk and lost his way back home.  He did not take his wallet or a cell phone with him.  Thomas suffers from medical conditions, which require him to take medication.  For the sake of his health, it is critical that he be found as soon as possible.  

The FSO Search and Rescue (SAR) team continues to actively look around the area for Thomas.  Our EAGLE One helicopter and three search dogs have made numerous passes, but have not had any luck.  Local hospitals have also been checked.  Thomas is known to regularly visit the “I Forgot Store” at 29925 Sunnyslope Road, however, no one there has seen him recently.

Thomas is described as being white, 5’5” with a thin build and brown eyes.  He has brownish-gray hair and is partially bald.  He was last seen wearing a white shirt that says “Pine Flat Lake Marina”, blue and white swim trunks and brown shoes.  Although Thomas wears glasses, he did not take them with him.

It’s possible that motorists may have seen Thomas walking in the area or even stopped to talk with him, but did not realize he was a missing person.  If you recall seeing someone matching Thomas’ description, we would like to know of the precise location.  Please contact the Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center immediately by dialing (559) 600-3111.

Area Thomas was last seen


Contact Information

Tony Botti
Public Information Officer
(559) 600-8137