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Dead man found in Trinity County mountains

A man who went missing three months ago in the mountains of Trinity County has been found dead, having apparently driven off the road barely 30 miles into his trip, the California Highway Patrol said.

John Bartholomew, 56, had not been seen since he drove away from Salyer in the early hours of Jan. 14. He was reportedly headed to Sacramento, a 250-mile drive.

A missing-person announcement on Jan. 20 said a car matching the description of the one he was driving — a silver 2005 Honda Accord — was seen on video from Highway 299 in the Weaverville area at 2:30 a.m. Jan. 14, but its license plate was not readable.

Search-and-rescue crews drove and flew the mountainous Highway 299 corridor, with no sightings.

It is likely Bartholomew never made it to Weaverville. Around 4 p.m. Friday, April 14, the CHP was notified of the wreckage of a Honda Accord along the Trinity River below Highway 299 between Big Bar and Big Flat, 20 miles west of Weaverville. The license plate matched that of the car Bartholomew was driving, which had been reported stolen in Trinity County.

The Honda was at the edge of the river, 100 feet below the highway on its south side. The car had apparently driven off the eastbound lane and down the steep, rocky slope; it rolled over and came to rest on its roof in the water, the CHP said.

The driver was trapped inside and died of injuries suffered in the crash, the accident report said. He had not been wearing a seatbelt.

The wreckage was not visible until it was exposed when the river’s level dropped.

The Trinity County coroner confirmed the dead man was Bartholomew, who the accident report said had resided in Redding. The missing-person announcement had said he was from Antelope, in Sacramento County.

Source: advocate-news