Stephen Ellison

After Days Missing in Camp Fire, Man Reunites With Family

The search for the dozens of missing people in the Camp Fire burn area ramped up Monday, and while 13 more bodies were found, there was at least one story of hope that emerged from the smoke and flames.

In Chico, one family received the news they’d been praying for. After four agonizing days, Amanda Melvin’s search for her father James Kirk Jacobson was over. He was alive and well, leading to a tearful reunion.

After getting stranded with a dead car battery, Jacobson finally made his way to the Chico Walmart parking lot, where he’d been camping in his VW bug with his cat Buddy and getting help from strangers.

"Thank God the people I met have been treating me real good," he said.

In the community of Magalia, Jacobson’s home was still standing, bringing his family new hope.

Melvin had posted on Facebook about her missing dad and her desperate search to find him.

"I’ve been sharing his pictures. I went to 11 different shelters looking for him trying to find him," she said.

Dozens of families have been doing the same. A Facebook page dedicated to those missing in the Camp Fire shows the faces of people who haven’t yet been found.

Search and rescue teams are working hard to help families get answers. Forensic anthropologists have been brought in to help locate and identify remains.

On Monday, they found 13 more victims, bringing the fire's death toll to 42.

Later Monday, Jacobson was on his way to his daughter’s house in Sacramento. His family urged others not to lose hope.

"Don’t give up, don’t give up," Melvin said. "Post and share. Be vigilant. Come look for yourself. Don’t give up."

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