Today is Missing Fortuna Man’s 20th Birthday

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Today is missing Joseph Viveiros’ 20th birthday. His family spend his birthday’s eve searching the Trinity River from Tish Tang to Weichpec. Joseph was last seen Monday, April 22nd at around 3:30pm.

The Tish Tang campground just south of Hoopa is his last known location. He was supposedly helping save a friend from a rock across the river when he disappeared.

Hoopa valley tribal police and Humboldt County sheriff’s deputies resumed their search of the trinity river Wednesday, and their boats searched up and down the river. They searched all the way to Weichpec, where the river gets dangerous.

In Weichpec is where I met up with members of Joseph’s family, and some of their closest family friends, on a break from their search for Joseph.

His mother, Daisy, was visibly shaken from the week of searching and missing her son. “Just prayers that he comes home and we get him back,” she said.

Joseph’s mom said the circumstances around his disappearance are suspicious, like when they went to get joseph’s phone from his girlfriend.

“My niece went to go get the phone and the wallet back from her, and she wouldn’t give it back to my niece,” she told me. “And then the police, the Arcata police had to go and get it from her. And then she had factory reset the phone and took his ID out of his wallet.”

While joseph’s mom and their family friends feel the circumstances around his disappearance are suspicious, one thing is clear:  this family is searching for answers.  joseph’s sister even suggested looking through trail cams along the rivers.

Emotions were high and it was a privilege to speak with this family in hopes of raising awareness for their missing son and getting his image out to as many people as possible.

Joseph’s friend: “I love him like a brother.  he’s my best friend.”

Family friend: “This is my son, who went to school with him.”

Joseph’s friend: “It hurts to see his family go through this.”

I asked what anyone could do to help.

Daisy, Joseph’s mother answered, “just to pray and to help search.”

His family and friends say the helicopter that was searching for him that day was diverted to cal poly Humboldt, as the protest began that same evening. Authorities were back in the water Wednesday, actively searching the river for the missing teen, who today is twenty years old.