Sacto 9-1-1
December 6, 2012
Couple missing from Citrus Heights found, boyfriend dead

A woman missing for nearly a week after leaving Citrus Heights for a trip across the stormy Sierra has been found alive, but her boyfriend is dead, authorities said.

Citrus Heights police said that Paula Lane, 46, of Gardnerville, Nev., was found alive walking along Highway 88/89 in Alpine County last night. Lane was located by a family member and she is recovering in a hospital.

Her boyfriend, Roderick Paul Clifton, 44, was found dead.

The couple was reported missing last Thursday when they left a relative's home in Citrus Heights. They were supposed to return to their Nevada home that day.

However, neither of them were heard from until last night. There had been no communication by cell phone, apparently because the couple was stranded in the mountainous location.

Despite search efforts by air, motorized vehicle and on foot by volunteers and law enforcement, the couple could not be found. The search was complicated by wintry conditions: the couple left for their home in the middle of a three-storm system last week.

Citrus Heights police said the couple became stuck in the snow the day they left for home while driving on Burnside Road near Highway 88/89 south of Lake Tahoe. The two were sightseeing in their four-wheel drive vehicle, police said.

"We were told they were off four-wheel driving up that road and got stuck," said Citrus Heights spokesman Officer Bryan G. Fritsch.

The couple hunkered down in their vehicle for at least one day.

Clifton then ventured out to seek help. Alone, Lane faced waiting for help or also hiking out in the snow.

Eventually she left the vehicle, and was found walking along the highway on Wednesday evening by a relative, reportedly her brother. Lane was transported to a Carson City hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Clifton's body was found in heavy snow. His cause of death has not been determined.

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