Missing in America

Body of Missing California Teacher Ed Cavanaugh Believed to be Found

Debbie Schultz

A body discovered Tuesday is believed to be that of missing San Francisco teacher Ed Cavanaugh, who vanished more than two weeks ago after heading out on his motorbike in a rural part of Northern California.

According to a statement issued by Lt. Tom Murdoch of the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, a member of Cavanaugh's family discovered a motorcycle matching the description of the one the outdoor experience teacher was last seen riding. A body was also found nearby.

Murdoch added that members of the Cavanaugh family offered the following statement after learning of the discovery.

"Our family would like to thank every single individual who has worked so hard to bring Ed home. We are overwhelmed with the kindness, generosity and support that has been shown by all in finding Ed. It truly is a testament to Ed’s extraordinary spirit and beautiful soul. Ed has touched so many lives in countless ways. We hope all who love Ed find comfort in knowing that his bright spirit is with us all during this heartbreaking time.”

The body has yet to be positively identified, and Murdoch stated the investigation will be continuing.

Cavanaugh, 45, was last seen Friday, July 17th, riding his blue Yamaha YZ 250 motorcycle along the Rock Creek trail area. He was out with a friend in the El Dorado National forest, but reportedly took off on his own around midday, according to sheriff's officials.

Members of Cavanaugh's family, including his sister Debbie Cavanaugh Schultz, flew out to aid in the search efforts. Dozens of others turned up to comb the trails and rugged terrain. Many were concerned as more time passed, because Cavanaugh was an experienced outdoorsman, even leading dozens of backpacking trips with his students.

The teacher was also diabetic, and his family feared he may run out of insulin, food, or water.

For the latest information about this case, you can visit the NBC Bay Area's website at


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