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Two missing after plane disappears off Northern California coast

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Posted at 6:33 PM, Oct 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-31 21:33:09-04

It's been a week since two friends were last seen on a trip up the Northern California coastline and friends and family members are desperately trying to get the word out.

Family friends say Kayla Rodriguez is originally from Santa Barbara but now works as a labor and delivery nurse in San Francisco.

The 27-year-old and a friend, 43-year-old Justin Winfrey, have been missing since Thursday, Oct. 24.

According to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the two were last seen at the Gyppo Ale Mill restaurant in the town of Shelter Cove in Humboldt County and were reportedly headed to the Brooktrails Airport near Willits.

They were traveling in Winfrey's small plane, a red and white Piper Arrow with a tail number of N4958J.

Sheriff's officials say they dropped off the radar at about 9:20 p.m. approximately five miles off the coast between Rockport and Wheeler.

The Coast Guard conducted a search for the missing plane, but it was discontinued because of weather and resources.

Family members have been canvassing the coastal area, handing out flyers and talking to locals. They also reportedly chartered a helicopter and volunteers with boats have been searching the water for any sign of the plane.

So far, no evidence has been found.

A Facebook page has been set up to share the latest updates and a GoFundMe page is collecting donations to aid in the search efforts.

Kayla was last seen wearing an orange or coral sweater and black leggings and was carrying a white purse.

Justin was last seen wearing a blue Warriors shirt, khaki cargo shorts, and a hat.

Anyone with information that could aid in the search efforts is asked to contact Kayla's father, Larry Rodriguez, at (805) 453-5842 or Justin's sister, Jasmine Jones-Herring at (415) 994-2898.