Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/14

Southern California and far-away places. Hiking, wildlife, cycling etc.

Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby bretpct » Tue Aug 14, 2018 9:43 pm

It's pretty ridiculous to expect the local military base to launch an all-out search for your loved one because he got lost in the wilderness. Maybe in Canada they have more resources available, but I don't blame JTNP at all for not entertaining the idea of asking the USMC to mount a search when they've never done it before, to my knowledge, even for American citizens.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby Perry » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:52 pm

I don't know what the search map looks like right now, but if a large area (relatively speaking) is thoroughly searched this fall when it cools off, I think it's reasonable for the FBI to investigate.

Seems like he could have easily gone south down that canyon near the trailhead, confidently crossed the road and climbed the hills to the SW, then later on realized he was in trouble. Searchers would not naturally look there first, but it seems like a possible scenario. (I've never been to the area, I'm just looking at maps.)

C to D here:
https://mapper.acme.com/?ll=33.72953,-1 ... tains%20CA
Then crossing the road and continuing S, SW, or W.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby zippetydude » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:48 am

I don't know about the FBI...what indicates foul play at this point? The car wasn't taken, he wasn't carrying large sums of cash that anyone would know about (at least most hikers are not presumed to be carrying fortunes in their packs) and from the appearance of the pictures he just seems to be a regular guy, so I doubt he had a million dollar camera on him. So what's the motive? If we're thinking of some bizarre serial killer, that's possible, but don't those creepy monsters generally target females? All the recent unexplained disappearances have been males hiking alone.

Still, it's hard to believe that hiker after hiker after hiker goes off trail for no reason, climbs up a dangerous rock pile, and slips and falls down into a crevice where he is totally disabled and completely undetectable. How is that possible?

No reasonable explanations come to mind at this point. I'm totally at a loss.

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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby RichardK » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:10 am

Recall the case of Michael Rodriguez who went missing in June 2016. His remains were found by hikers in the Stubbe Spring area last May. I don't know what kind of terrain he was found in, but Stubbe Springs is a popular destination. Somehow he was overlooked by the initial search and by two years of hikers. Foul play? Something mysterious? No, they just didn't look in the right place.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby Perry » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:36 am

I don't think a comparison can be made to the Rodriguez search. That search was not very thorough. They were limited by the heat and for the most part didn't search very far from the road. I don't think very many hikers looked for him because they didn't think he was a hiker and suspected, as I wrongly did, that he might have disappeared or been murdered. If the search map had been publicly available and if authorities had said he was suicidal, I believe hikers would have found him the following fall or winter. I had a chance to look at the maps, and I thought about searching in the general area of where he was found because it stood out as being unsearched and an obvious possibility, but I also didn't want to waste time if he was not in the park. Also, he didn't park in the parking lot but left the car at the side of the road after camping in another area.

In the case of Nguyen and Orbeso, the FBI was involved, although it turned out to not be helpful it seems. They started early in the morning which expanded the range of possibilities of where they could be.

Mr. Miller planned on a short hike, the search began very quickly, and I believe the heat would have limited his travel. I think if this was just a normal hike, he'll be found in the fall, winter, or spring if somebody posts FOIA documents online. From the family talking, it does not appear he was suicidal although that doesn't necessarily eliminate that possibility.

I'm not saying the FBI should devote a ton of resources into this, maybe just look into things a little and decide whether to go further or not. And maybe only after a very thorough search map has been created.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby Perry » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:58 am

Another thing about the Rodriguez case is that the coroner's results have not been released to the public. I don't know why, and apparently this is unusual. All we know is that an apparent family member on Facebook said she was told that his driver's license was found nearby.

It also seems strange to me that they couldn't have followed the general direction of this footprints because he didn't park at a trailhead. It's not like other hikers covered up his footprints with theirs, and I don't think it rained. Could be hard soil there. I don't know.

Edit: The wind might have covered up the footprints.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby bretpct » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:41 pm

Also, there's the human remains found back in June that still have not been identified.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby OtherHand » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:57 pm

It's real curious about those remains. Supposedly Rodriguez's sister (?) posted on Facebook that she was called and told it was likely him as his wallet was found there. That post was later taken down. The location makes sense for Rodriguez if he were in a suicidal frame of mind. But with all the technical means available, that RSO hasn't released an ID is very strange. If it wasn't Rodriguez, than who the hell was it?

As to the FBI's involvement in this case, I suspect it's because it involves the disappearance or death of a foreign national in a national park. When we found the DV Germans, there was a rather bored FBI agent on the inbound chopper with me who told me that was why he was there. So since the missing subject is Canadian, I guess the FBI reviews the case, but usually defers to the local LE jurisdiction.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby bretpct » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:55 pm

bretpct wrote:Also, there's the human remains found back in June that still have not been identified.


Looks like these remains have been identified, and two people have been arrested.

Edit: It appears the two people have been released, as the DA did not file charges.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby Pitownpi » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:22 pm

some confusion,
i believe there were released then charges were filed.

DA didn't file in time so they had to be released

and then the charges were filed and they are in jail.
http://www.hidesertstar.com/news/article_fd5bba24-acb8-11e8-9fa6-d3419738127a.html
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