SANTA CRUZ (CBS SF) – The Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office confirmed the body of a 75-year-old retired nuclear engineer who went missing Sunday was found Tuesday in a ravine in Aptos.

Search-and-rescue teams scouring an area around an Aptos retreat found the body of George Sliter near the 600 block of Hudson Lane Tuesday afternoon, sheriff’s officials said.

Deputies first suspected the victim was Sliter because the body was wearing clothes that matched the description of what Sliter was wearing when he was reported missing by his friends, sheriff’s spokeswoman April Skalland said.

Those friends last saw Sliter around 8:45 a.m. Sunday at the Monte Toyon center when they ate breakfast together. Monte Toyon, located at 220 Cloister Lane, is a camp and conference center used by nonprofit groups.

When Sliter’s friends didn’t see him in a church service at the retreat, they alerted sheriff’s deputies around noon, Skalland said.

Witnesses told deputies that around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, they saw a man matching Sliter’s description in a nearby area asking for directions back to the center, Skalland said.

According to the sheriff’s office, Sliter had no camping or other outdoor experience and may have been experiencing short-term memory lapses and depression recently.

No foul play was suspected.

“It’s unfortunate,” Skalland said.

About 100 people from the sheriff’s office and nearby law enforcement agencies participated in the search, which involved search-and-rescue dogs, helicopters, all-terrain vehicles and horses.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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