Update: Searchers located missing Palo Alto residents Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin alive on Saturday, Feb. 22. Read our latest story here.
With the search for Palo Alto residents Carol Kiparsky and Ian Irwin nearly reaching the one-week mark, the Marin County Sheriff's Office is shifting gears by bringing in the U.S. Coast Guard and cadaver K9 teams, now calling it a "recovery mission," the office said in a Thursday press release.
Though the sheriff's office received four independent alerts from cadaver dogs around Shell Beach, which is about 2 miles away from the couple's rental home, no updates were made on the couple's whereabouts on Thursday.
"We believe that our extensive search efforts with every resource that has been available to us would have located Carol and Ian if they were responsive or in an area accessible by foot on land," the sheriff's office said. "We've worked tirelessly combing through all leads and areas surrounding the cottage they were vacationing at."
The Palo Alto couple was last heard from on Feb. 14 when they were staying at a rented vacation cottage on Via De La Vista. They were due to check out last Saturday morning and missed a Sunday appointment with the family, according to the sheriff's office.
The couple had left behind personal items including cellphones, wallets, hiking gear and their vehicle. Authorities said no foul play is suspected.
"This is a really weird time for our family. There is no playbook for something like this," Irwin's son, Jonas, said to KGO-TV news. "My dad was somebody, who when he was really into the backpacking thing, would do snow camping and cut into ice and make fire. He is super resourceful."
Since Monday, several agencies including Inverness's volunteer fire department stepped in to aid the search of Irwin, 72, and Kiparsky, 77, utilizing many resources from jet skis, boats, helicopters, K9 teams, drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, among others, but coming out with little to no leads.
On Thursday, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter aided deputies and the Inverness Fire Department with their search around Tomales Bay and the shoreline of Inverness, a quiet community 3.5 miles northwest of Point Reyes Station.
On Friday, the sheriff's office will use jet skis, National Park Service boats, an airplane and drones to comb the same areas.
Another search will be conducted with ground searchers, K9 teams, NPS boats, an airplane and drones on Saturday, followed by more NPS boats and an airplane search of Tomales Bay on Sunday. On Monday, the search effort will be reduced to jet skis.
Inverness residents have been mystified by the missing persons case, which is uncommon for the small, peaceful town.