Missing Girl Could be in Local Area

Amber Woolwine of Kernville has been reported missing since June 11.
By: 
Darcy Ellis, Special to the Times

A 16-year-old Kernville girl is missing and possibly hiding out in the Sierra backcountry or passing through this area on her way out of state, according to Kern County authorities and the Woolwine family, who reported their daughter Amber Woolwine as missing since Thursday, June 11. She is believed to be in the company of a 47-year-old man with whom she worked last summer at the Cottonwood Pack Station in Lone Pine. The man was reportedly a longtime friend of the family.
Woolwine’s mother, Lynnette Jenkins, posted a message to a public group on Facebook Monday, June 15, asking for Owens Valley residents to keep an eye out for both her daughter and the man, who goes by the name Max Kozak.
According to Jenkins, authorities can find no record of a Max Kozak – no address, no driver’s license, no vehicles registered to that name – in the system and believe the name to be a possible alias.
He is described on missing persons posters distributed by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office as “an unknown white male” around the age of 45, six feet tall, 200 pounds, muscular build, with short dark hair and hazel eyes. He is known to wear an off-white, dirty, felt cowboy hat.
“Also, he speaks with a slight accent. Most would say it sounds Australian,” Jenkins reported on Facebook Sunday. “He also has a slight facial twitch and occasional stutter.”
In an earlier post on Saturday, she noted that the man had disappeared from Kernville in April “after being told the cops wanted to speak to him. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since, except maybe by Amber.”
Amber is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall, 125 pounds, lean, with blue eyes and light brown, medium-length hair. She typically wears country/Western style clothing, including worn brown cowboy boots and a faded black felt hat, according to the Sheriff’s Office. She has pierced ears and a pierced belly button, as well as a 2-inch scar on her left elbow.
Her father, Carl Woolwine, told a local TV station that he last saw her the morning of the 11th when she dropped off her pickup truck at his home – an act that he says did not seem suspicious at the time.
This was in the area of Wofford Heights, 3.5 miles south-southwest of Kernville, Kernville Sheriff’s Office Public Information Ray Pruitt said, and authorities have been focusing their efforts here, in particular, to locate Amber.
But Jenkins believes her daughter and the man her family knew for nearly 20 years as Max Kozak could be anywhere in the Sierra or even on their way to Utah.
Jenkins told the local TV station that Amber left behind a note telling her family “she was going to a camp and would not be in touch.”
Initially, Jenkins suspected the two were at any of the dozens of the pack stations in the Eastern or Western Sierra, and then considered they could be simply “hiding out” in the backcountry, since both are experienced in surviving outdoors.
Late Tuesday night, Jenkins posted to Facebook that she had received a tip that the pair might be headed to Utah.
Kozak drives a white Dodge Ram, license plate number 88933MA.
Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of either Amber Woolwine or Max Kozak is asked to call the Kern County Sheriff’s Office at (661) 861-3110 or the closest law enforcement agency.

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