Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday [7/27/17]

General Palm Springs area.

Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Ed » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:36 am

Sean wrote:Your personal history doesn't constitute actual evidence which would make similar foul play a legitimate theory in the present case.


We are simply going to continue to disagree. That's fine. I think there will be, if it has not started already, an investigation by the authorities of a criminal explanation. But without the bodies it is likely to be inconclusive.
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Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Wildhorse » Tue Aug 08, 2017 11:23 am

This local jt link seems to be doing a great job of monitoring the search activity.

http://www.jttortoisetelegraph.com/sing ... ional-Park

It sounds like some searching is still taking place.

Cynthia, I am impressed by your insightful sense from the beginning that this would be an unusually troubling SAR story.
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Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby guest » Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:32 pm

Hi folks,
I drove by the Maze loop area this morning around 5:45a & again at about 11:30am, only one white car there, no sign of any SAR's, no tape, or signs I could spot.
I haven't been to the FB page, but it would appear this search has ended.

We hiked in an area several miles, (maybe even 5-6), from that spot, & I noticed a typical orange ribbon tied to a location that one could hike-out in, to signify, (I'm assuming), that area had been searched.
Temps up until noon were pleasant, (70's-low 90s at 4k ft.), with a good breeze, much better than the monsoon humidity of last week.

Indeed a strange case, considering how thorough SAR's usually are. Reminds me a bit of the father & grown son from several tears ago in the park, where the dad went missing for a number of days, to be found, wedged down in some boulders, & rescued ultimately.
Then the other strange one with the two younger men who ingested Datura, the one who lived lied about what happened for fear of getting in trouble. That one lasted a few days, if I remember, and some SAR's were killed in a car accident en-route to the search, causing charge to be brought against the guy who survived.

Strange things can happen in the desert, as you know. Heck, Charlie Manson's old hangout in Death Valley?, was a wild place were lots of weird stuff went on.

I hope there's still a good outcome here,
ss
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Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Ed » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:49 am

Thanks for the info, Guest. If they have given up the search, I am sorry to hear it, but you can't fault them for quitting at this point. Perhaps there will some more lower-intensity searching.
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Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby cynthia23 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:53 pm

Wildhorse, that link you provided seems very informative. And I agree with you that everyone brings their particular 'lens' to bear on the situation, which causes each of us to propose a certain solution to this mystery. For myself, a Coachella Valley resident, the past year has bought much news locally of crime and deserts. There was the Erin Corwin case, in which a Marine lured his pregnant girlfriend into the desert near Joshua Tree, murdered her and dumped her body down an old mine shaft--then, the refiling of murder charges in the Pinyon Pines triple murder, in which two young stand accused of the revenge murder of an ex-girlfriend in an isolated high desert area, and most recently and weirdly, the utter disappearance of a young Indio couple, whose maintained, full tank of gas car was found abandoned in Beaumont. As Guest says, perhaps there is something about deserts that sometimes leads to homicide ...

Or, not. As Guest also mentions, there could simply be a natural, albeit very odd explanation. However, I don't think it's disrespectful or outrageous to suggest a crime may be the explanation. It may actually be more logical. I recall a thread on here, some years back, in which the dangers of hiking alone were discussed at length, and someone pointed out that statistically, almost all hiking FATALITIES involve a single hiker, though there are many instances of injuries or rescues with two or more hikers. The poster pointed out that it's very rare for two people to die hiking together--mutual incapacitation is rare. If a double fatality is rare, how much more rare would be an inability to find those two bodies, especially in an area fairly limited in scope? Anything is possible, including the 'cave' or 'crossing a road' scenario, but at least in my opinion, crime is statistically a more likely explanation.

I hope that whatever the truth is, it is uncovered. It troubles me to hear Guest report that the search seems to have ended. If the couple were lost or trapped, they're certainly dead by now, so perhaps the SAR teams have made a pragmatic decision to await cooler weather to resume searching. But I do hope that the police agencies are also looking into criminal possibilities, remote or otherwise. That recent kidnapping/disappearance case is very disturbing, although I think it's unlikely that anything similar happened here. Still, as Guest pointed out, we do live in a world in which people like the Manson cult are possible. And, sadly, spurned young men do sometimes murder their former girlfriends. Three women are murdered by their partners every day in America. There certainly aren't anything like that number killed hiking. However, the nature of coincidences and odd events is to startle us, so, again, anything is possible, including two people dying of heat stroke and a large scale SAR effort unable to find their bodies.
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Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby zippetydude » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:30 pm

This has become a different discussion than the initial topic of the disappearance. It seems to have moved over to a discussion of how to be respectful in online postings in an unusually delicate situation, and I think both sides have done a good job of explaining their point of view in a rational and respectful way. I even sympathize with each point of view.

On the one hand, I have many reservations about posting potentially negative comments about someone who is not able to represent themselves and thus have a level playing field. So I appreciate the purpose behind the posts that spoke of speculation as possibly being a mistake. That had occurred to me as well.

On the other hand, I have a fairly logical mind, and it seems to me natural for someone to wonder if something extraordinary must have happened for two people to go missing at once. In an open area like Joshua Tree, it seems hard to comprehend that two people, probably with two cell phones, would seemingly disappear without leaving any trace. No clothing, no markings, no phone calls, nothing. That is somewhat of a strange circumstance, and I appreciate the intentionally delicate manner in which the questions have been asked by others here on the board.

So, a question: Does anyone else here lean to one side but find themselves in agreement with the other side as well?

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Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Ed » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:15 pm

I'm not leaning either way, but I certainly think there are reasons to consider a dark explanation of some kind. One which I don't think has been mentioned is the time line. I don't know what it is exactly, but this seems to be a case where the two hikers were reported missing, their car was located, and a search begun in a relatively short period of time. It seems doubtful to me that two people would both have succumbed to heat and/or accident in that period of time. I would have envisioned at least one of them being upright and trying to be visible to searchers for the first day of the search. Unless they both fell down a mineshaft. But I've never heard of old mineshafts in Joshua Tree, and I assume the Park Service knows where they are if they exist.
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Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Wildhorse » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:32 pm

Hi Z, it is a good ethical question. It makes my head hurt. I can't answer it, except to say this. Cynthia revealed her suspicions and showed her concern for the missing persons and their families in her empathic anxieties and hopes. Feelings are what matter here, and she has stuck with that, even when challenged here. She has my full sympathy in that.
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Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby Myth » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:35 pm

Ed wrote:But I've never heard of old mineshafts in Joshua Tree, and I assume the Park Service knows where they are if they exist.

There are tons of them, but they're mostly collapsed or caged. Not all of them though - I've visited a couple in the way backcountry that were untouched, open shafts you could enter and die in. Not in this part of the Park AFAIK, though.
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Re: Young Hikers Missing in Joshua Tree Since Thursday

Postby cynthia23 » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:03 pm

Thank you for your tactful response, Zip. As always, the voice of reason! I can understand and admire those who are concerned with protecting the honor of the dead, who can't defend themselves. For me, I feel a sense of anxiety about this event--a fear that perhaps this situation was misunderstood. The disappearance of the Indio couple, now gone over a month, is on my mind. While a kidnapping at the trailhead is an extremely unlikely scenario, how awful would it be if all the time SAR was searching the area, Orbeso and Nguyen were (or are!) imprisoned somewhere totally outside the area, victims of some heinous crime? Or, if this is some kind of domestic murder-suicide, justice, and also safety, demands clarity-- it's important to clear up what did, or didn't, happen. Ed brings up a good point about the short timeline, and Myth, about the possible existence of mine shafts.

I don't want to belabor the point, however. Hopefully law enforcement is investigating, and/or SAR will find them, and very soon.
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