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Dirt Biker Who Went Missing in Santa Clarita Valley Found Safe

A missing dirt bike rider whose disappearance in the Santa Clarita Valley prompted an all-out, multi-agency search early Wednesday has been found safe at home, authorities said.

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Antonio Marquez was found safe at home after a massive search operation Wednesday, March 19, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Antonio Marquez, 54, was reported missing around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Santa Clarita police Sgt. Jeff Curran said.

He “returned home after crashing his dirt bike,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Santa Clarita Valley Station tweeted at about 7:20 a.m.

Video showed that Marquez appeared to be in good condition after the overnight ordeal.

After his return home, Marquez said he felt “lucky.”

“I feel pretty lucky and realize that a lot of people care about me, and I’m very grateful for that,” he said. “I just realized you’re not supposed to do anything alone.”

Marquez’s wife was relieved to see her husband, and also very thankful to the agencies that searched for him.

“Thanks to all the crews, the rescue crews, the helicopter, the fire department. They were on it so quickly, and the Sheriff’s Department was great” Julie Marquez said.

Marquez, who was wearing a helmet while he was out riding, said he did not hear the helicopters involved in the search operation.

Before he was located, his family said they hadn’t heard from since 6:30 p.m. that evening, according to authorities.

“He did have a cell phone, that was the last contact he had with the family,” said Deputy Joshua Dubin of the L.A. Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff’s deputies initially unsuccessful in their attempts to use the cell phone to locate the Marquez’s position or to make contact with him, according to Dubin.

Several agencies searched the area of Rowher Flats (map) or San Francisquito Canyon (map) for Marquez in the overnight hours, authorities said.

“There are a lot of mountainous areas, and a lot of off-road trails” where the search was being conducted, Dubin said. He added that the area where they conducted the search was “really large.”

A Los Angeles County Fire helicopter, a Sheriff’s off-road motorcycle team and search and rescue crews were deployed in the search for Marquez, according to authorities.

KTLA’s Wendy Burch, Rose Razeghi and Mike McGregor contributed to this report.