Man reported missing near Tecopa

Staff Writer

On the evening of Friday March 11 Inyo County Sheriff’s Department dispatch was contacted regarding a cellular phone that was found in the desert east of Tecopa. It was determined that the cellular phone belonged to 83-year-old James “Billy” Liles of Carmel.

Liles had been camping near Tecopa about two miles from where the cellular phone was discovered. On Saturday March 12, 10 Inyo County Search and Rescue members, along with three Bureau of Land Management rangers began searching the Tecopa area, including the Armargosa Wash. Assisting in the search was CHP helicopter H-80 out of Apple Valley.

Interviews with family indicate that the Tecopa area is a location that Liles has frequented in the past; and that he enjoys photographing the natural surroundings. If anyone has any information that may assist in locating Liles, please contact sheriff’s dispatch at (760) 878-0383. It is believed that he carries a 6-foot long walking stick and dresses in muted colors.