Chalfant teenager still missing

By Wendilyn Grasseschi

Early on Saturday morning, Oct. 13, Chalfant-area teenager Karlie Lain Guse, 16, walked out of her house and headed toward the direction of U.S. Highway 6.
She hasn’t been seen or heard from since, despite a massive search involving scent dogs, helicopters, on-and off-road vehicles, dozens of interviews with friends and family, a forensic search of social media, intensive, repeated, on-the-ground searches of the high desert country surrounding her home, door-to-door contacts and more.
Her story has been picked up by regional and national media outlets from the Reno Gazette to the Los Angeles Times to “Inside Edition.”
Her face is on facebook posts, shared from California to Idaho to Pennsylvania and still, as of press time on Wednesday afternoon, she had not been found and an intensive investigation was still underway, although the ground search had come to an end.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) we concluded the ground search with our Search and Rescue (SAR) teams, the Inyo SAR, Forest Service, helicopters and deputies on ATVs,” said Mono County Sheriff Ingrid Braun, whose office is heading the search. “We hoped that we wouldn’t find her out there, because after being missing for three days, that would be a terrible outcome.
“We have scoured the desert, we have knocked on every door, we have done a forensic search of social media, we had a 20-person Hotshot crew out looking for her,” Braun said. “Our investigation will now focus on social media, electronic devices and interviews of family and friends. My fervent hope is that she is somewhere safe and that she will be found soon.”
The last time there was a confirmed sighting of Guse, Braun said, was that morning, near Chalfant, which is located north of Bishop about six miles on U.S. Highway 6.
“Other than a confirming sighting in the area of Highway 6 and White Mountain Estates on the morning of her disappearance, we have no new information to report,” Braun said. “Despite every effort, Karlie still has not been located.”
Guse did not take her cell phone or any personal belongings when she left her home at about 7:30 a.m., according to the Mono County Sheriff’s Office. She might have been wearing a white T-shirt and gray sweatpants when she left the residence, but that was not confirmed at press time.
Guse is a Bishop High School student, but she is also a Mono County resident, as Chalfant is part of the Tri Valley area of Mono County, which is why Braun’s office is heading up the search.
Braun said she has added Guse to the national database for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children,
“This is an unusual thing to do but we have reason to think she might have been disoriented that morning,” Braun said Tuesday, speaking to the Mono County Board of Supervisors, giving them an update on the search. “‘Why’ is not important, ‘what’ is what is important,” she said, referring to multiple comments on the Mono County
Sheriff’s Office facebook post regarding suppositions about the reasons the teen might have left her home on Ponderosa Street on Oct. 13, her state of mind and more. “We need to know what happened,” she said. “That is what is critical.”
“We are not accepting volunteers at this time,” she said. “We understand and appreciate the desire to help, but please allow the professionals to do their work without interference and distraction. Please continue to spread the word and increase awareness of Karlie.”
Guse is a white female, 16 years old, 5 feet, 7 inches, 110 pounds, dark blond hair and blue eyes.
An apparent GoFundMe page has been set up for Guse but it is not endorsed by the family, Braun said. “Please do not contribute.”
The search for Guse involved the California Highway Patrol, the U.S. Inyo National Forest, the Inyo and Mono County Sheriff’s offices, the Bishop Police Department, volunteers from local Search and Rescue teams, the National Guard and many more, Braun said.
Those who might have information regarding Guse are advised to call the Mono County Sheriff’s office at (760) 932-7549, option 7.