Search for missing Berkeley runner draws help from beyond Bay Area

Volunteer search crews gathered, once again, to Foothill High School for day seven of search efforts. They continue to hold hope to find Philip Kreycik, 37, of Berkeley. He's not been seen since July 10th.

Many of the hundreds of volunteers offering to look for Kreycik are complete strangers; they have never met Philip or known about his family before last week. Some of Kreycik's oldest and closest friends say they are grateful for the Bay Area hospitality.

"Phil is an unbelievable person," said Allison Rogers. She and Kreycik were classmates at Harvard and worked together at the Harvard Office for Sustainability.

It's near impossible for anyone to say a bad thing about Philip Kreycik. His kindness, devotion to the environment and athleticism is what his friends all praise.

Philip Kreycik was reported missing Saturday, July 10 after going for a run. Photo: Pleasanton Police Department

"If anyone can make it through a tough situation, it's Phil," said friend and former Harvard classmate Tom Wooten. "I think that's why so many of his friends are continuing to search very hard for him."

These friends live far from the Bay Area; Rogers in Vermont and Wooten in Cambridge, Mass. They, along with others, have followed the pursuit to find Kreycik over the last week.

"I was shocked," said Brent Bell. He was a faculty advisor when Kreycik served as President of the university's Outing Club.

"It was a bit of a gut punch. Philip is the last person I expect this to happen to."

Bell was a staff member of Harvard for seven years. He now lives in New Hampshire and still kept a close relationship with Kreycik years after graduation. As a leader, Kreycik inspired many others to join the Outing Club, including Harold Eyster, who now lives in Vancouver.

He told KTVU how Kreycik gave him an idea to run the streets of Vancouver to parallel a similar run Kreycik completed in Cambridge.

"Philip did all the streets in Cambridge," said Eyster. "I did all the streets in Vancouver. I just finished all the roads yesterday and I always imagined if I finished, I would say hey Philip look what I did, but it's sad to me that I can't reach out to him right now."

No one can reach Philip Kreycik right now. Search and rescue crews spent a full seven days giving their best efforts to find him. Instead of falling into sadness, his friends revert back to why he's missed in the first place. 

Wooten recalls his mischievous pranks.

"Philip would trot a little bit ahead and get off the trail a little bit and would just say 'boo' right next to me and it would illicit a huge scream."

Rogers thinks about his big heart.

"He is incredible in so many ways," she said.

"He is smart, brilliant, athletic but most of all the type of person hat goes above and beyond for everyone in his life."

To keep from getting down, each person tries to focus on the mission of finding Kreycik. That gets hard sometimes.

"I'm incredibly sad and scared and I really really want to see Philip at the end of this," said Bell.

"I've had a couple of good cries," said Wooten. 

But they all still hold onto hope. Hope they say would not be possible if it weren't for the hundreds of volunteers from the Bay Area contributing everything they can; from time looking to food and water at the command center.

"I hope all of you know he would be doing the exact same for anybody else and that's why we need to be searching and doing everything we can to find him," said Rogers.