On March 14 at about 9:30 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report that a 16 year-old boy was missing from the Blue Slide Road, off China Creek Road, in the Briceland area. It was reported that the teen, Jonathon Aurelies Speciale, and his father had been working on the road at a slide so they could get the family car out and go to town for supplies. After the work was done, at about 4:40 p.m., Jonathon decided to walk back to the house, which was less than 1/2 of a mile away. When the father returned at 8:30 p.m., he discovered that Jonathon had not returned to the house. The family conducted a quick search of the area and when Jonathon was not located they contacted the Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies from the Sheriff’s Garberville Office responded to the scene and conducted a search of the area, along the roads and drive to the house with negative results.
Wednesday morning, at 5:00 a.m., Sheriff's Office Special Services Deputies and the Sheriff's Search and Rescue Posse were called out to continue the search. Local residence, and members of the local Volunteer Fire Departments assisted with the search. Area search dogs and tracking dogs were also used.
Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Posse members Bruce Slocum and Edith Hokeman, who are trained man-trackers, located tracks near the location where Jonathon was last seen. They followed the tracks down a slide into Blue Slide Creek and then up stream. The team of trackers followed the tracks for several hours.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. Jonathon was located, deceased, in a small opening near the intersection of two small streams. The preliminary cause of death appears to be exposure, due to the cold, wet weather.
The Sheriff's Office would like to thank the local residents who assisted with the search and recovery. Additionally, the Sheriff’s Office is grateful to Diana Totten, for her assistance in gaining access to local property, and to Shannon Martin for his assistance in guiding Sheriff's Office personnel to the scene.