July 22, 2012
I Care: Searching for Linnea Lomax


His brown eyes are earnest, pleading as he hands out fliers in search of a woman he's never met. "Missing girl. Linnea Lomax," he says to the throngs exiting the California State Fair, holding pictures of Lomax, 19, who disappeared from a mental health facility June 26.
Instead of having fun like most people his age, Avery Hughes, 18, volunteers full time during summer break before his senior year in high school. He joined the search on July 11, when the search effort slowed from having hundreds of volunteers to less than twenty. After two hours on the job he was crying. Later, he cleared his schedule to volunteer indefinitely.


Last year, Hughes spent two months on the streets in Germany, never knowing where he was going to sleep or get his next meal. "I'm a guy and Germany's not as dangerous. This scares the pants off me," he says. "She's young. She's beautiful. She's just really vulnerable." Hughes does whatever is needed to help find Linnea - including interviewing the homeless, mopping the floors, providing tech support or answering the tip-line. He barely sleeps at night always knowing there's something more he could be doing. "Emotionally it's the most taxing thing I've ever done," he said.


Craig Lomax, Linnea's father, appreciates all the help the receives from the volunteers. "When you go through something like this it's unbearable," he said. "But when people around you get things done you don't feel abandoned. It makes the pain tolerable."
Hughes feels strongly about helping the Lomax family and hopes that his efforts will make the difference in finding Linnea safe.


A sign above the cot Hughes barely sleeps on at night inspires him. "All gave some. Some gave all," it reads. "I'd much rather be in the group that gave all," he said.

To nominate an exceptional volunteer for the I Care column please email acruz@sacbee.com.

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.