September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Grizzly Flats man disappears while fleeing Caldor Fire

Local News

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — A missing Grizzly Flats man was last heard from while fleeing the Caldor Fire, his nephew told FOX40 Monday.

“He called me Monday night, about 8 o’clock in the evening, to let me know that he had changed his mind and he wasn’t going to leave,” said Jim Bradford, who is hoping to hear from his uncle Marvin Creel. “That he was going to stay there, wait it out. And if he had to leave, he’d wait till the last minute.”

As the threat of the Caldor Fire crept closer, Creel filled his truck with items important to him. 

“He had guns. He had blankets that were made, that meant something to him, and a bunch of his paperwork,” Bradford explained.

Bradford offered to go there and help his uncle, but Creel said he’d be fine.

By Wednesday, Bradford called all of his uncle’s numbers after hearing the area of Grizzly Flats was gone.

“I called all the numbers I had of his, and then he called me back,” Bradford told FOX40. “He said, ‘Hey Jimmy, it’s uncle Marv,’ and I said, ‘Are you OK?’ And then the phone went out. There was a lot of noise in the background, and then the phone cut out, and then I tried to call him back. It just went straight to voicemail.”  

And that was the last time the family heard from Creel.

The El Dorado Sheriff’s Office has been looking for him and is asking for the public’s help.

“Apparently, when they found his truck somewhere abandoned it still had everything in it,” Bradford said.

That included the keys in the ignition. The car was parked somewhere in the Grizzly Flats area.

“But it’s weird that he would leave his truck with his belongings in it. He’s not careless like that,” Bradford said.  

FOX40 went to find Creel’s Creekside Drive home but only a deer sat quietly staring at the devastation around it. The whole neighborhood had been decimated by the Caldor Fire.

Just about 4 miles from the home, firefighters were battling spot fires in a canyon above Grizzly Flat Road. Multiple choppers were doing water drops at the same time.

The family hopes Creel pulled over to help someone or that maybe he needed help and someone took him to the hospital.

The family says Creel had bad knees and was known to have problems.

“He doesn’t like drama. But he liked living out there in Grizzly Flats because he worked out here in Sacramento,” Bradford explained. “He’d go back up there when it was quiet. He knew almost everybody up there. “

“He was a really good guy … is a really good guy,” Bradford continued. “We love him.”

Anyone who has seen or spoken to Creel is asked to contact Detective Jeff Sargent at 530-642-4714.

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