Search for missing Auburn pharmacist focuses on San Jose mall

Viktoriya Ioffe, 35, of Rocklin reported missing Aug. 9
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Auburn Walgreen’s pharmacist Viktoriya Ioffe’s disappearance continues to stymie Rocklin Police in a missing-person case that is now focusing on a San Jose mall. Ioffe, a 35-year-old Rocklin resident and Auburn Walgreen’s employee, was reported missing on Aug. 9. Rocklin Police Lt. Lon Milka said Tuesday that investigators have spoken with a security guard at the Santana Row Shopping Center, near Interstate 880, in San Jose. Ioffe spoke with the security guard in the early morning of Aug. 9 outside the mall’s Peet’s Coffee & Tea shop, Milka said. “She was waiting for it to open,” Milka said. “She talked to mall security and everything was fine.” Initial reports from Rocklin Police stated that Ioffe’s distinctive red Nissan Versa had not been seen, as of Aug. 23. But Milka said Tuesday that the vehicle was found on Aug. 9 and towed from the mall. Rocklin Police also reported Tuesday that Ioffe had left a handbag, wallet, cell phone and keys inside a store at the mall on Aug. 8. Her laptop was also recovered from the store, Milka said. When police first reported her disappearance, they said the notebook was missing from her home but did not say they had retrieved it. But no trace of Ioffe has been reported since the encounter with a security guard outside the coffee shop on Aug. 9, Milka said. The trail in San Jose also shows Ioffe staying at a La Quinta Inn on Aug. 7 but checking out on Aug. 8, the Rocklin Police officer said. Because there is no evidence to indicate otherwise, Rocklin Police are treating the disappearance as a missing-person case. But Milka said that it was out of character for Ioffe to not report to her job at the North Auburn Walgreen’s or contact her family. Ioffe is described as 5-feet, 5-inches tall, about 140 pounds, with shoulder-length black hair and brown eyes. “We have had no new leads on her whereabouts,” Milka said. “This is completely out of the ordinary for her. She had a job and as far as Placer County is concerned, there is no indication of a history of any problems.” Ioffe was last seen in Placer County at the Walgreen’s on New Airport Road as she left for two days off on the afternoon of Aug. 6. She talked with family members by phone Aug. 7. The Auburn Journal has contacted Walgreen’s head office to allow Auburn employees to speak with a reporter. The corporation had not responded to the request by Tuesday. Milka said Rocklin Police are working with San Jose authorities on the case and have visited the city to track down leads. Investigators have also sent information to other law-enforcement agencies in an attempt to locate the missing woman, he said. Anyone with information that could help find Ioffe is asked to call the Rocklin Police Department at (916) 625-5400.