“Hug your families.”
That was one of the heartbreaking messages Friday from the wife of an East Bay runner who's been missing since Saturday.
37-year-old Philip Kreycik disappeared while hiking at Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park.
While police have scaled down their search, the family and volunteers have not.
“I think the saying goes that your life can change in an instant. That’s exactly what happened to us,” said Jen Yao, Philip’s wife.
Fighting back tears, Yao described Philip Kreycik, the man she married as the love of her life and of the outdoors.
She told NBC Bay Area’s Damian Trujillo that Philip Kreycik is also a man who carried his older child on his shoulders while on family hikes.
“I need, I need to keep doing that. I need him to keep carrying his son on the hikes,” Yao added.
Family members said that Philip Kreycik is an ultramarathon runner. They told NBC Bay Area on Friday that Philip came to Pleasanton River Ridge Regional Park for what was supposed to be a quick hike on Saturday.
He hasn't been seen since.
This week, more than 500 volunteers have helped police try to find him.
“He’s the kind of father I wish I would have been,” said Keith Kreycik, Philip’s father.
Keith Kreycik added that he appreciates all police have done and said that he's thankful for the many volunteers, whom he also worries about in the days ahead.
“We don’t want anybody else to get hurt, so please, please, when people are helping us, please be careful and take care of yourself first and help us next,” he said.
The family believes Philip Kreycik is still out there injured and disoriented but alive. They are asking neighbors to check their properties in case he wandered in from the park, looking for help.
They also have one more request for every family that sees this.
“Your life can change just like that. I want everyone to hug your families, care for each other and help us bring him home,” said Yao.
The family said they will soon start a crowdsourcing campaign to help this community, perhaps to help fund other search and rescues.