Stanford nurse Michael Odell found dead after two-day search

Jan. 21, 2022, 12:31 a.m.

The body of Stanford nurse Michael Odell was found Thursday afternoon by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office dive team in Fremont, California, according to the Alameda County Coroner’s Office. 

Odell’s body was found in the water near the Dumbarton Bridge, close to where Odell’s cell phone was last detected, according to lieutenant Ray Kelly from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. His car was also found nearby, with his phone inside. There was a singular set of footsteps leading into the water, believed to be Odell’s, according to the lieutenant.

Kelly said there is currently no suspicion of foul play or that Odell was the victim of a crime. When his body was found, Odell had been deceased for some time, consistent with the amount of time he was missing, Kelly said. As of now, there is no reported cause of death. 

“It’s very sad for his family and for the Stanford community. Our hearts go out to them,” Kelly said.

27-year-old Odell went missing in the middle of his shift as a neurological nurse in the intensive care unit at Stanford Hospital on Tuesday. At around 4:30 a.m., Odell informed his supervisor that he had left something in the car and would come back, Odell’s roommate Joshua Christopher Paredes told the San Francisco Chronicle. However, Odell never returned.

Paredes reported Odell missing after he didn’t return to their apartment in San Francisco’s Castro district. Odell’s last phone location pinged near the Dumbarton Bridge toll plaza in Fremont, according to the Chronicle. His car was also found in that location. A Facebook group titled ‘Find Michael Odell’ amassed 3.5 thousand members over the past few days as individuals searched for him.

“We want to thank all of the people from across the country and world who shared Michael’s story on social media, prayed, and sent love to his friends and family during this difficult time,” Brittaney Elise, one of the Facebook group’s coordinators, shared in a post.  

Odell’s family has been notified of the discovery, according to the Alameda County Coroner’s office. A GoFundMe page was organized to coordinate funds for family members to cover funeral expenses. 

Members of Stanford Health Care expressed their condolences to Odell’s family and support for his colleagues in mourning.

“We at Stanford Health Care were heartbroken to learn from authorities that the traveling nurse who was missing has been found deceased. We express our deepest condolences to the nurse’s family and loved ones and continue to support our colleagues who are deeply saddened by this loss,” wrote Stanford Health Care spokesperson Julie Greicius in a statement to The Daily.

This story has been updated to include additional information from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. 

Itzel Luna '25 is a News Managing Editor and Fellowships Coordinator. Luna is originally from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and plans to major in Sociology on the data science, markets and management track with a minor in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Contact her at iluna 'at'

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