Family of missing California man holding onto hope while crews continue search

Local News

The search for a 64-year-old California man is over for the night, but the family of Rudy Rockett Sr. says they’re hopeful he will be found.

From New York State Police to Forest Rangers, several law enforcement crews searched Thursday for 64-year-old Rudy Rockett Sr from California.

He’s been missing in western New York since Sunday.

“The worst feeling you could ever experience in your life. We love him,” said Rudy Rockett Jr.

Now Rockett’s family is also searching — for answers.

“I’m just hoping that they find him you know,” said Rockett Jr.

Niagara County Sheriff’s Deputies say Rockett was last seen with his stepson leaving for the Buffalo airport Sunday afternoon. But Rockett never made his flight.

Crews spent much of Thursday looking for him in the Zoar Valley area, just one section of a 50-mile search area.

“We have information to believe he was possibly last in this area, southern Erie, Cattaraugus county,” said Chief Deputy Michael Dunn with Niagara County Sheriff’s Office.

“I’ve been mourning for a little bit, I’m just in shock right now you know,” said Rockett Jr.

Rudy Rockett Jr told News 4 via Facetime that he just saw his father less than a month ago when he came to visit Rockett Jr and his family in Oklahoma.

“That’s the thing about my dad, he would fly into Wichita and drive the two hours just to come eat dinner with us. He’s a very, very smart guy, very kind. My dad he’s a hiker, he’s an outdoors man,” said Rockett Jr.

Rockett says now he’s just holding on to hope and help from western New Yorkers.

“I’m hoping for a miracle but that’s kind of starting to fade away at this point. Anybody that has land out there, you own some land out there or you live in the area, go check out your property for me, be safe of course but just look please,” said Rockett Jr.

Deputies say Thursday’s weather didn’t help in the search as it’s a rough terrain.

If anyone in the area saw a 2006 gray Saab on Sunday, you’re asked to call the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office. They’re trying to narrow their search to where that car was last seen.

Rockett Sr.’s stepson, 29-year-old Gregory Roy, was arrested on a weapons charge and is being held on a $150,000 bail.

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