News Releases

Eel River Conservation Camp Walkaway Apprehended

PATTERSON – California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials apprehended Randy Heldstab, a minimum-security incarcerated person who walked away from Eel River Conservation Camp in Humboldt County on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Around noon today, Heldstab was taken into custody by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office in Patterson. CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety (OCS) staff will transport him to the Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) in Jamestown. He will be ineligible to participate in the fire camp program and his case will be referred to the local district attorney’s office for consideration of escape charges.

Heldstab was reported missing at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday night. A search of the camp buildings and grounds was immediately conducted. OCS, CAL FIRE, and local law enforcement agencies were notified and assisted in the search.

Heldstab was admitted from Stanislaus County on July 7, 2022, to serve a seven-year, four-month sentence for possession of a firearm, buying/receiving stolen vehicle/trailer/construction equipment, controlled substance in prison/jail and manufacture/sale/possession of a short-barrel shotgun or rifle. He was scheduled to be released from CDCR custody in September 2024.

Since 1977, 99 percent of all people who have left an adult institution, camp, or community-based program without permission have been apprehended.


Incarcerated person Randy Heldstab