Lost Female Hiker
June 26, 2019
South Ridge Trail
Written by Vinay Rao
At approximately 4:00pm on Wednesday afternoon the RMRU Team received call about a lost hiker near the South Ridge Trailhead. Responding team members were Vinay Rao and Blake Douglas. Vinay and Blake (“the RMRU team”) met at the Hemet Sheriff sub-station and drove the RMRU diesel van to the Trailhead area where we were met by two Sheriff deputies. The deputies indicated that their initial report was that the subject – a female Nepalese national – was part of a retreat group and, along with a friend, was scouting out a location for a hike for the entire group.
They two found a suitable location and the male left the subject to go and get the rest of the group. When he returned to the site an hour later the subject was not there. The group decided to look for their friend but could not locate her and decided to call for help. Three members of the group remained with the deputies and informed the RMRU team that the subject was not carrying any food and water. She also had “taken off” on her own in the past to find a place to mediate and could reach a meditative state where she may not be able to hear anyone calling out to her.
Given that the last know location of the subject was hours old, the deputies asked that a K-9 team be brought out. Once the K-9 arrived the RMRU and K-9 teams proceeded with the search moving generally southwest from the Command Post (CP). A deputy in an ATV also proceeded to a dirt road approximately 2 miles west of the CP to widen the search area. The K-9 appeared to have a good track on the subject. The RMRU team performed multiple callouts as loudly as possible given what we knew about the subject. The teams searched for about two hours before the K-9 needed a rest.
Given that we were only about a mile from the CP the best approach was to return to the CP and possibly bring in another K-9 unit. While re-grouping at the CP the deputies received a call that the subject had found her way to a road where she was ultimately picked up by the deputy in the ATV and returned to the CP. She was unharmed and was in good health.
RMRU Members Involved: Blake Douglas and Vinay Rao.