A father missing since Monday morning has been found about 40 miles from home after an overnight search in Riverside County, according to family members.
A relative told NBC4 early Tuesday that 35-year-old John Ecker was found Tuesday morning by other family members. He was found in Whitewater, about 40 miles from his home.
"I'm crying, but I'm good," said John Bottomly, Ecker's father-in-law. "My family is whole again. I just hope he's ok, whatever he needs."
Details regarding the man's condition were not immediately available, but authorities said a store clerk recognized Ecker after seeing a flyer with his description and image. The clerk contacted authorities.
"He's alive and found, that's all for now," his mother told NBC4.
He was last seen by his wife, Mira Ecker, early Monday morning. She reported him missing to police after she couldn’t reach him.
His white GMC truck was found 60 miles from their home off the 10 Freeway near Indio on Monday night, according to Riverside County Sheriff's Captain Ray Wood.
John, who works as a contractor, left his boots at home.
"He would never (leave without his boots), he would never. He’s a contractor, they leave with their boots," Mira said.
Mira also said she awoke to the front door of their home being open, and discovered that purse was missing, and that her car in the driveway had been hit. The couple’s GPS unit was also found outside of the home.
Mira says that her husband usually calls back within a couple of minutes, and grew suspicious after he did not respond to any of her calls or texts. John’s father also reached out to Mira on Monday, asking if she had heard from his son.
John Ecker is a white male, 5 feet, 9 inches, with blonde hair and blue eyes, who has visible tattoos on both sides of his neck.
Mira says that John sometimes leaves as early as 2 or 3 a.m. for work. Mira says she reached out to neighbors, one whose surveillance camera captured footage of John’s truck leaving around 5:45 a.m. Mira says the footage does not show who was driving the vehicle.
"(John’s) everything to this family, he’s my love, my best friend, the father to my children. He’s everything, and I want him home," Mira said.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of John Ecker is encouraged to call the San Jacinto Police Department at (951) 654-2702 or Riverside County Sheriff’s Dispatch at (951)776-1099.