Family Searching for Missing Man with Mental Illness

The family of a man living with a mental illness are desperate to find him after he went missing last week.

Ronnie Chavez, 22, was diagnosed with a mental illness a few weeks ago and has been missing since the family took a road trip last week to Laughlin, Nevada, his mother Rosa Chavez said.

Rosa wanted to help cheer her son up since his diagnosis, she said.

"He loves to do stuff and when people are depressed, you are supposed to do stuff that they like to do to help them deal with it," she said.

The family was going to go for a swim and thought Ronnie was changing his clothes, but discovered he took the car keys and left, Rosa said.

Ronnie was seen on surveillance video on April 29 at a gas station in Victorville.

Rosa said her son called and asked if she could wire money to him.

"He gave me his bank account, his password, so he had to be lucid. So I went ahead and transferred the money because I didn't want him stranded either. He said he had to hang up," Rosa said.

Authorities said Ronnie is a "critical" missing person and released a flyer.

Ronnie's family is hopeful he will be found soon and gets the help he needs.

"Otherwise he's gonna be a statistic out there. Another one of the people on Skid Row that don't want to get the help. Maybe he doesn't want to take drugs. I know that but I can't give up either," Rosa said.

Chavez was last seen April 30 walking away from a Shell gas station toward the 15 Freeway on Rasor Road in Baker. He was last seen wearing a dark grey t-shirt and red swim trunks with a white stripe. He no longer had a cell phone in his possession, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.

Anyone with information was asked to call the Victorville Police Department at 760-241-2911.

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