Search for woman believed drowned called off

ZEPHYR COVE -- The search for a California woman believed drowned in Lake Tahoe was called off Friday afternoon by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.

Jan Sauer, 50, has been missing since Wednesday at 6:21 p.m. when a boat she was on with eight others capsized in the lake near Cave Rock.

Sauer's husband, Charles Sauer, 53, drowned. His body was recovered Wednesday evening. The remaining passengers swam to shore or were rescued.

More than 30 search and rescue personnel walked a five-mile stretch of shoreline from the Glenbrook area to the Round Hill area for three days, Sheriff Ron Pierini said.

Eight patrol boats, a Washoe County helicopter, kayakers, divers, a scent dog, and underwater cameras were unable to find any evidence of Jan Sauer's body.

Pierini said the area will continue to be patrolled by deputies during their regular shifts.

Anyone having any information concerning this incident is asked to call the Douglas County Sheriff's Department at 775-782-9911.

Family members recalled Charles Sauer as a well-read, quick-witted man, who looked forward to his annual family vacation to Lake Tahoe with his wife Jan, their two children and and close friends.

Jan Sauer is a special education teacher at Menlo Park Hillview Middle School, who resides in San Carlos.

Charles Sauer was an intelligent, private man who did consulting work in the South Bay. He was an avid reader with a few college degrees and exhibited a dry sense of humor.

"I'm at a loss for words," said Tim Mallon, Sauer's son-in-law. "He was a caring person. He loved his children very much. I don't know what else to say."

Mallon said Sauer was expected to visit Pennsylvania next week to visit his 10-month-old grandson for the first time. Sauer had four other grandsons in Texas and a great grandson on the way, Mallon said.

Sauer moved to California from Eerie, Pa., following a divorce. He married Jan and they have two children who were on board the boat when it flipped over.

"We're all very shocked," said Sandy Walsh, the Hillview's school's secretary. "We have a phone tree of teachers who are all waiting for an official word."

Sauer has worked for the Menlo Park City School district since 1987, and at Hillview since 1989. Principal Michael Moore described Sauer as a quiet teacher who goes above and beyond her duty when it comes to working with children with special needs.

"She works not only works closely with the students but with their parents. She is very involved," Moore said.

Involved and committed, added Walsh, who has known Sauer for eight years.

"She is a very good teacher, very concerned and very passionate about her work," Walsh said. "She is one to always smile and to be upbeat."


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