Missing 71-year-old Woman Alpine Lake

August 5, 2016
Alpine County, CA

Written by Tony Hughes

An OES request for assistance in Alpine County went out on Thursday August 4th looking for assistance on Saturday and Sunday August 6th and 7th. A 71-year-old Female had gone missing on July 28th after she didn't return from an afternoon hike to the lake from her campsite. She had also gone missing in June near Lassen Volcanic National Park and was found the next morning. After that incident, she always carried a flashlight with her when hiking.

Cameron Dickinson and I drove up to the Command Post (CP) in Bear Valley on Friday August, 5th. We arrived at the same time as the team from Fresno. After being briefed, Alpine County gave us accommodations in the employee housing for the local ski resort.

On the morning of August 6th, we joined over 200 team members from 27 agencies to search for our subject. Cam and I were paired up with Dan, Dana, and Alan from Contra Costa and given 2 search areas to cover. The search assignments were well organized. The perimeter of our search areas were loaded onto our GPSs at the CP. We also checked out a radio and a "Nano" device. The Nano is a multifunction device with a satellite uplink allowing for two-way texting communications and for the CP to monitor our location at all times.

We drove to the trailhead, hiked in about 1.5 miles to the search area and spent most of the day conducting a grid search of our two areas. We found no evidence of any recent human activity.

We returned to the Command Post in the late afternoon, did our debriefing, and had some food. Over 100 square miles were searched with no signs of the subject. Many teams left Saturday night. Cam and I turned in early, got some sleep, and drove home on Sunday. A few remaining teams continued searching Sunday.

Alpine County Sheriff called off the search on Sunday afternoon and issued a Silver Alert for the subject in case she had driven off with someone.

RMRU Members Involved: Cameron Dickinson and Tony Hughes.