Missing couple Roderick Clifton and Gardnerville's Paula Lane. Photo used with permission from news10.net
LYON COUNTY, NV -- The brother-in-law of Roderick Clifton is remembering Clifton as dedicated, and fun to be around. Don Emlaw is the general manager at Schwan's in Moundhouse. Emlaw said Clifton, an electrician and resident of the Sacramento area, often drove to Nevada. Emlaw said Clifton visited Emlaw's wife -- Clifton's sister.
"He would spend three hours to drive up here to help her out," Emlaw said.
Emlaw also said Clifton often drove to Gardnerville to visit Paula Lane, his girlfriend he became stranded with in the mountains.
Emlaw said he believes his brother-in-law wanted to see the area near Burnside Lake Road in a remote part of Alpine County, California. "Unfortunately he went up there a little too far to where he ended up getting stuck," Emlaw said. He said Clifton may have driven around a barrier, which is why it was so difficult to find the couple.
Emlaw said: "I feel the only way for him to save himself and Paula was to leave the vehicle and try to get back down to the highway."
Clifton was a dedicated uncle, Emlaw said. "My daughter came over and laid on my lap and started to cry saying: 'I miss uncle Rod.'"
Clifton is survived by three daughters who live in California.
Lane is still being treated at Carson-Tahoe Medical Center. Doctors said she could be released this weekend. Emlaw said Clifton and Lane had been dating since the summer.