Authorities in Northern California say the body of a missing man was found inside a wrecked vehicle after his wife used a smartphone app to locate his cellphone.
“It was in an area surrounded by a fence, trees and bushes that was not visible from the street or thruway,” Officer Art Montiel, a spokesman for the California Highway Patrol’s Redwood City division, told The Huffington Post. “He would not have been found if his wife had not been out looking for him.”
Jayesh Patel, of Pacifica, was last seen alive on Friday, Dec. 16, around 10 p.m. When the 49-year-old failed to come home, his wife contacted police and reported him missing.
The following day, Patel’s wife decided to utilize a smartphone app to ping her husband’s cellphone. “I’m not sure what app she used, but it was able to locate his phone,” Montiel said.
The GPS trail led Patel’s wife to an elevated ramp at the interchange of U.S. Highway 101 and state Highway 92 in San Mateo, where the twisted wreckage of his 2000 Mercedes was found.
Police and fire units arrived on the scene at about 12 p.m. Patel was pronounced dead after emergency responders extracted him from the wreckage.
An investigation into the crash indicates that Patel had been “driving eastbound on 92 when, for whatever reason, he lost control of the vehicle and collided with a concrete barrier on the left side of the roadway” Montiel said.
The collision apparently launched the car over the barrier, causing it to fall 30 feet before landing on its wheels, according to police.
People have been paying tribute to Patel at an online memorial, describing him as a “devoted husband” and “family man” who touched many lives.
“I will always remember your compassion, spirit and desire to always do the right thing,” wrote one person. “You are and always will be my friend.”
The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact California Highway Patrol Officer K. Steinkraus at 650-369-6261.