O.C. baseball star mysteriously vanishes

December 14, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The search continues for an Orange County baseball star who mysteriously vanished over the weekend while walking his girlfriend's dog.James Wernke and his girlfriend's pet Labrador Kealie are still missing, and the last time they were last seen was near Hermosa School in the 3000 block Sunnywood Drive at about 2 p.m. Saturday.

"We got out on foot and tried to retrace the possible tracks that he took, although we're not sure of those tracks," said Lt. Alex Bastreri of the Fullerton Police Department.

Bastreri said a helicopter and an off-road motorcycle are also aiding in the search.

Family, friends and teammates have put up fliers in the Fullerton neighborhood where he was last seen, asking for the public's help to find him.

The 21-year-old was pitching for Santa Ana College and had earned a full scholarship to Cal State Long Beach.

Family and friends say the fact that he didn't touch base with anyone before he left was completely out of character.

"I'm trying to block out all the negative thoughts right now and stay positive, but it's definitely unlike him to have no one know where he is. I mean, someone always knows where he is at sometime, but I'm definitely worried," said James' teammate R.J. Hively.

James' father Robert Wernke reached out to his missing son on camera.

"James, please contact somebody. We're worried about you, we love you, and we want you home," he said.

Wernke is 6 feet, 4 inches tall, and about 190 pounds. According to family and friends, Wernke left without his keys or ID.

If you have any information on Wernke's whereabouts or if you saw him anytime on Saturday, you're urged to call Fullerton police at (714) 738-6700.


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