February 3, 2023
Written by: Matt Frenken.
At 6pm the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit was activated to search for a missing person in the city of Wildomar. By 10pm a team was assembled to perform a search for a missing person in the hills above the reporting party’s residence. It was also discovered at this time, that the missing person was despondent and for the protection of the volunteers searching, RCSD Deputies from the Lake Elsinore station were included on the search team.
An extensive search was performed of the areas surrounding the trail that the missing person was believed to have travelled; however, due to the darkness and extensive brush, the search was called off at 1am the next morning, Saturday.
The search would continue during daylight hours on Saturday. For the search on Saturday, additional resources were brought in to expand the search area. In addition to volunteers from RMRU, teams from RCSD Bloodhounds, Riverside County Search Dogs, SERT, and Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) all provided assistance in looking for Mr. Robert Connors. By the end of the day, RMRU was able to identify an area of high probability and would resume the search on Sunday February 5, 2023.
On Sunday, RMRU was joined by Desert Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (DSSAR), RCSD Drone Team, Riverside County Search Dogs and SERT to search the area of high probability, identified on Saturday. It was during this search, that the body of Mr. Robert Connors was located and identified. With the assistance from RCSD Air Rescue 9, Mr. Connors was removed from the search area and returned to his family. Our condolences go out to the Connors family during this difficult time.
RMRU Members Involved: (James Eckhardt, Matt Frenken, Josh Gould, Eric Holden, Beth Jeffery, Vinay Rao, Steven Rider, Tyler Shumway, Becky Templeton, Jessie Virga, Ray Weden, and Richard Yocum)
Other Units Involved: (SERT, DSSAR, Drone Team, Sheriff’s Search Dogs, Aviation RSQ-9)