Missing Man Joshua Tree
Written by Cameron Dickinson
On July 1 2016, Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. was contacted to assist in the search of a 59yr old missing in Joshua Tree National Park. In addition to Joshua Tree NP’s own search team (JOSAR), resources from other counties, CHP, U.S. Border Patrol, and Desert Search & Rescue (DSAR) also came out to aid in the search.
On June 30th, a maintenance worker noticed a car parked are the side of the road that hasn’t moved for a couple days. A little suspicious, the worker notified the park ranger on duty. The ranger came out to the vehicle, ran the plates, and found the vehicle belonged to a missing person out of Azusa, CA. City of Azusa P.D. reported the man missing on June 20th.
Initially, Park Service gained entry into the missing person's vehicle with the intent to find any clues that could help in determining the person's whereabouts, looking for itineraries, notes, maps, or any other evidence that could lead the searchers in the right direction. JOSAR would start by the vehicle in looking for any sign or clues of the missing person's direction of travel. Riverside County Sheriff’s and CHP would fly their helicopters overhead while ground search teams would search through the boulder fields, hillsides, washes, fields, and on and around hiking trails and mines. Scent dogs were also utilized in the search.
Over the course of the next several days, 9 team members Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit and other mutual aid teams scoured the park with no luck in locating the missing person. The search was eventually called off. The 59yr old man still remains missing to date.
RMRU Members Involved: Cameron Dickinson, Gary Farris, Michael George, Glenn Henderson, Eric Holden, Tony Hughes, Kevin Kearn, Wayne Smith, and Ray Weden.