Missing Woman Skyline

June 10, 2016
Cleveland National Forest Corona

Written by Tony Hughes

Eric, Judy, and I all arrived at the bottom of Skyline Trail in Corona around 5:00 PM on Friday June, 10th. 2 Deputies were on scene and gave us an overview of what had happened thus far. A 15-year-old female had gone hiking up Tin Mine Canyon with her older sister and her sister's boyfriend. They left the trail head at approximately 5:45 AM. The group had started up the "ropes" trail and the older sister and her boyfriend decided to turn back after the 4th set of ropes. The 15-year-old continued to the top.

When the 15-year-old failed to return to the trail head and 911 was called. She had no water, no food, and no cell phone. Air 1 flew the area twice in the morning to locate the subject but did not spot her. A hiker coming down Skyline saw someone matching the subject's description near the radar tower (aka "The Golf Ball") at approximately 8:45 AM. The subject declined water or food but accepted some lip balm.

A few RMRU team members received a heads-up at between 11 AM and Noon. We received the go-ahead at 4:00 PM after no further signs of the subject had appeared. Star 9 arrived on scene about the same time we did at 5:00 PM. They flew over Tin Mine Canyon, Skin Suit, and Skyline Trails. Eric, Judy, and I discussed the possible routes the subject could have taken - either retracing her steps back to the ropes, going up Main Divide, heading down Blackstar, heading out to Sierra Peak, or taking one of many offshoot trails. We decided we would head to the Golf Ball and cut for sign. The area past the Golf Ball receives limited traffic but Blackstar and Skyline are heavily traveled and it is likely our subject would be spotted on either of those trails.

We started up the road and talked to several hikers and mountain bikers, none who had seen anyone fitting the subject's description. We reached the turn off for Sierra Peak and cut for sign. We had only been out of the truck for a few minutes when we received word the subject was safe at home. The dog team had gone to her residence to obtain clothing for scent and found out she had been home for several hours. She had walked down Blackstar where Orange County Sheriff had picked her up and brought her to a Starbucks where she met her parents and returned home unharmed.

Tony and Flat Tire

Tony with Flat Tire
Photo by Eric Holden.

Eric, Judy, and I headed back to Skyline Trailhead to wrap things up, but our night wasn't over yet. The team truck got a flat tire and we worked with the deputy to get a tow truck to pick up the vehicle.

RMRU Members Involved: Eric Holden, Tony Hughes, and Judy Spowart.