Missing Solo Hiker

May 31, 2013
Whitewater Canyon

Written by Kirk Cloyd

Friday evening May 31 Carlos and Les hiked up the Whitewater searching for a missing male hiker who had not contacted his home the day before when he was due out. Ty ran base while the team was out in the field. It was a very warm evening and was great for them to be hiking at night. They hiked from 10pm until morning and found nothing.

Mike, Gwenda, and I arrived at the Whitewater Search at approx. 6:45 am on Saturday June 1 and geared up for a warm day of hiking through the desert landscape. Once the hasty team, Les and Carlos, returned to the command post around 7:30 am we talked about a plan for the day. Based on their experience the night before, it was determined that putting teams in the field during the 100 plus degrees heat would not be safe. Les and Carlos left after an extremely hot night of hiking at approx. 8:30 am along with Ty, Gwenda was now running base.

Preparations were made to put teams in the field in the early evening and at night. At the same time, the Riverside County Sheriff’s helicopter flew in and picked up RMRU team member Kirk as an observer. The Helicopter flew the area of the PCT that was searched the night before. The Helicopter also searched the PCT from the Whitewater Trail-head to about six miles into San Bernardino County. Additionally, the helicopter searched up the 3 forks of Whitewater Canyon tributaries all the way to the head-walls and dry waterfalls. With no sign of any hikers or the subjects, the helicopter returned Kirk to the command post.

Shortly after the helicopter left, the Sheriff Deputy at the command post was notified that the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department may have located the subject from phone calls to family and friends. The command post was on standby until approx. 2:30 pm when it was confirmed that the subject was located in Los Angeles.

RMRU team members present: Carlos Carter, Kirk Cloyd, Mike Herman, Ty Whittersheim, Les Walker, and Gwenda Yates.