LAKE ISABELLA, Calif. (KGET) — It has been more than five months since UC Santa Cruz student and 23-time world racquetball champion Dane Elkins was reported missing, but recent possible sightings in Kern County have given his family and the greater community renewed hope.

Earlier this month, someone reportedly saw Dane at the Tillie Creek Campground in Wofford Heights near the northwest side of Lake Isabella. As of Tuesday, Elkins had not been found there, but many people have since reached out saying they saw Elkins in the greater Lake Isabella area.

Elkins was reported missing on December 21 north of Castaic after he became mentally distressed possibly due to the pandemic, according to his mother Deborah. Since, the 22-year-old was possibly seen in Bakersfield in January and Mojave in February. During the Mojave and Kern River Valley sightings, the person matching a description of Elkins said he was headed to Oregon, according to Elkins’ mother.

“I really strongly believe he’s in the Kern River Valley area,” said Deborah . “Many different people have had different experiences with him in this area. We’ve had many sightings, but not one picture, and so, I am asking the community and anybody in the area if you see Dane, please take a discrete picture. It’s almost certainly him, but we need a picture, need documentation, we just want to be sure.”

Anyone who may see Elkins or who may have information of his whereabouts, is encouraged to join the Facebook group “Searching for Dane Elkins.” Witnesses are also asked to text or call 562-504-6005, or email a picture or video of Dane to