Where is Ruth Haley Word?

By Larry Judkins

Glenn County Observer

Willows transient Ruth Haley Word, whose name appears in the Glenn County Sheriff’s logs probably more often than anyone else’s, has disappeared.

At about 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 4, Word, 35, was reported missing by her mother, Denise Annette Word, of 138 Fern Street, Willows. Deputy Goodwin contacted Denise Word via telephone.

Denise Word told the deputy that no one had seen Ruth Word for more than a week. Denise Word said that she had contacted numerous people and searched around Willows for her daughter, with no luck.

Denise Word was concerned for her daughter and said this was extremely unusual for her. Deputy Goodwin conducted a search for Ruth Word but was unsuccessful in finding her.

At the request of her mother, Ruth Word was entered into the Missing and Unidentified Persons System (MUPS).

According to Glenn County Sheriff’s logs, at about 5:30 p.m. on Christmas Day, 10 days before being reported missing, an anonymous person requested a welfare check on Word, who was reportedly jumping in front of passing vehicles in the area of West Sycamore Street and North Humboldt Avenue. Deputies responded and conducted a search for Word, but were unable to find her.

At about 9:50 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 26, Glenn County Sheriff Sergeant Draper was contacted by Steven Wayne Trimmer of 600 North Humboldt Avenue, apt. #166, Willows, reporting that he had been assaulted at the complex by Ruth Word. Trimmer alleged that Word had hit him in the elbow during an argument earlier that morning.

Trimmer wished to pursue the matter criminally and Word was contacted. During the investigation, it was found that Word was also in violation of a 100-yard stayaway order.

She was taken into custody and booked into the Glenn County Jail without incident at about 10:04 a.m. According to the jail’s news release, Word was booked on charges alleging disobeying a court order, assault, and battery (all misdemeanors).

Her bail was set at zero. She was released in the early afternoon hours.

The sheriff’s logs also say that at about 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 28, Deputy Sanzone found a California EBT card bearing the name of Ruth Word. The deputy found Word at 141 North Crawford Avenue, Willows (Word’s former home that burned on Jan. 30, 2021, and was condemned as uninhabitable).

On Friday, Jan. 7, the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release announcing that it is seeking information on the whereabouts of Word. The press release states that her family last saw her in the area of the Cedar Hills apartment complex, 600 North Humboldt Avenue, Willows, just after Christmas.

There have been several unconfirmed sightings of Word in and around the Willows area, the most recent being on New Year’s Day. There was also one sighting in Colusa County, but that was determined to be a different person.

At present, The Observer is unable to post photos on its website, but Word is described as being about 5-feet, 8-inches tall, about 150 pounds, with blue eyes and light brown or blond hair.

The sheriff’s press release says that there is presently no evidence of foul play.

The Glenn Investigations and Narcotics Task Force (GLINTF) is currently working on the missing person investigation. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Ruth Word is urged to contact Detective Lopeteguy at the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office, 530-934-6722.