HAMILTON CITY -- Teams are search for a 20-year-old college student from Lafayette who has been missing since Sunday and was last seen on a Sacramento River beach near Chico.
Brett Michael Olson, a Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo student from Lafayette, was last seen about 1 p.m. Sunday when he arrived at a beach. He was on the Labor Day weekend float down the river with a group of friends and several thousand other Labor Day revelers.
Olson's parents handed out hundreds of fliers Tuesday. Elizabeth Olson stood near her husband Michael Tuesday holding a self-made missing person poster board, asking students to help them find their son. The students said they would stay as long as it takes.
Olson is about 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, with dark brown hair and hazel eyes.
"All possibilities are open, he could have met somebody, a girlfriend, we just don't know at this point," Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones said.
"This is my son," Michael Olson said to Chico State University students, who studied the photo -- many told the father they were sorry.
Brett Olson's friends and family from Lafayette on Wednesday waited nearby for updates and searched open areas along the Sacramento River, but were asked to stay out of the dense riparian habitat where the search crews were busy.
Michael Olson said late Wednesday afternoon that at least 25 people from the Lafayette and Danville areas had already joined the family near Hamilton City,
"They just got in their cars and drove up," he said. "It's overwhelming in an emotional sense."
There also is a Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/groups/436209829755246/ ("Let's Bring Brett home"), with almost 27,000 members as of late Wednesday afternoon.
The father said it is out of character for his son to be out of touch with his friends.
Glenn County Sheriff's investigators searched the river Monday. After 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, deputies launched at Ord Bend to search snags and the shoreline upstream to the washout.
"Obviously, we're taking it very seriously," Glenn County Undersheriff Rich Warren said.
Olson came to Chico Friday night to visit Chico State University friends and tube the river. He was supposed to go home Monday.
"All of our information right now is he was last seen safe on land," Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones said.
Olson had been drinking alcohol but his friends said they didn't think he was "over the edge," his father said today.
The Sheriff's Office received some reports that a man similar to Olson's description was seen walking into the brush north of the beach in the Pine Creek area near Hamilton City, which it is investigating, Jones said.
"Best case scenario, we're hoping he is somewhere wandering around in the wilderness area and we'll be able to find him," Warren said.
The young man knows how to swim, is in good health and has no serious allergies, his father said. He does not have his cellphone with him.
Olson's family reported him missing Monday afternoon.
Michael Olson said authorities and others have been "incredibly helpful" and supportive.
Staff writer Sam Richards contributed to this report.