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

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

Postby Perry » Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:44 pm

Possibly closure for the family. I went searching today and had no idea about that newspaper article yesterday.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby zippetydude » Sun Dec 22, 2019 4:02 pm

Sad but at least the family will know what happened. Perry, it sounds like your thought that some form of computer analysis would be the most effective way to find people has been proven true. The article says the discovery was made after analysis of high resolution photographs taken last July - if they can automate this process to be much faster it might even facilitate finding people quickly enough to save them even if they are injured. Not a happy story here, but it does hold promise for the future.

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

Postby Perry » Sun Dec 22, 2019 7:23 pm

The drone footage was taken in November, I think the application for a drone permit may have started in July, but yes it does apparently take awhile to review the photos. I don't know if algorithms were used. I do know that people have been volunteering their time to review the numerous photos.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby bretpct » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:35 pm

Hopefully this is him, and the family can get some closure.

I'm not optimistic we'll get much information through public channels. The past cases of Nguyen/Orbeso & Michael Rodriguez, have showed us authorities may only provide a bare minimum of information to the public.

We still don't know if Rodriguez has officially been found, despite a now deleted Facebook post saying he was found.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby OtherHand » Mon Dec 23, 2019 7:44 am

It all depends on just how many bureaucratic hoops an interested citizen is willing to jump through. After the dust settles on this current incident, a new FOIA could be submitted for updated info.

Early on, I submitted a FOIA for Rodriguez materials and received a fair amount. Not like Ewasko as I think the park has become more conservative in what they release for FOIA requests. What did surprise me was the relatively limited scope of that search compared to Ewasko and Orbeso/Nguyen. To me, this suggests authorities suspected it was a suicide case, although nothing to that effect is stated in the FOIA release. In any case my request was made before the remains were found.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby OtherHand » Fri Dec 27, 2019 10:09 pm

This story out of Salt Lake City describes a bit of the drone imaging process and also specifically mentioned that some of Miller's possessions were found. Don't know if it's correct reporting, but since they were interviewing Greg Nuckolls there's a good chance it's accurate.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby RichardK » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:43 am

Miller's sister was interviewed on TV. Greg Nuckolls also spoke briefly. You can see the video here:

https://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/human-rema ... -1.4741733

The sister says that there were indications that Miller crawled out of the sun to get into the shade. This topo map was displayed on the screen. I assume that the circles were where remains were found, but they didn't say that. Now that the holidays are over, maybe the coroner can make a swift ID from dental records.

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

Postby OtherHand » Thu Jan 02, 2020 5:45 pm

I'm not sure what those two circles are supposed to mean, but that's not the location. On the screen shown in the video, there's a larger circle that's much closer to the true location, but it doesn't look quite like it either. But close. The idea that he may have crawled into the shade is possibly an over-interpretation, since it was at the bottom of a very vertical piece of terrain and he could have just fallen.

Many people don't realize how difficult it can be to find a subject that's not vertical in terrain like this. The family has said they passed within 20 meters of the site on one of their searches without spotting the remains. From the Miller search track records obtained by Perry, one SAR team passed within 120 feet and a second team, on another day, passed within 175 feet. And these are people trained and actively looking for the subject.

In the case of the Orbeso/Nguyen murder-suicide, a ground search team passed within 200 feet of that site, and a search helicopter passed only 300 feet laterally (I don't know its altitude), neither able to spot the subjects.

My point in listing these distances is really to show that for Bill Ewasko, while a lot of the area between Quail Mountain and Smith Water has been searched, per the collected tracks, it's a vast area. The reason he hasn't been found is almost surely we walked right by him.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby Myth » Sat Jan 04, 2020 5:17 pm

Yep, as far as Bill is concerned that's what I think too, OtherHand - it is a large area, and I've been there and seen the terrain. Until every inch of it is inspected, it is not cleared. This winter I definitely won't make it down to JT to search, but maybe springtime will be mild and I can squeeze in a search. I feel drawn to pick up this search again. There are thousands of spots just out of sight up there. Someone has to take a look.
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Re: Search under way for hiker missing in Joshua Tree NP 7/1

Postby RichardK » Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:18 pm

Paul's family posted this on Facebook.

UPDATE - January 9th, 2020

Official identification of the remains found in Joshua Tree National Park near the 49 Palms Oasis Trail have not been made, but Paul's family is expecting confirmation to come within the coming days.

The unofficial details we have received from California to date lead us to believe that the remains are those of Paul Miller.

Paul's wife and son, Stephanie & Dryden, along with four close friends of Paul's will be travelling to Twentynine Palms, California next week.

We expect to have details regarding a memorial and celebration of Paul's life available upon return from California.
Event information will be posted to the page once finalized.

It is asked that everyone respect the family's privacy at this time. We will provide details on how to send any words of support, love and condolences in the near future.

Please keep Paul's loved ones in your thoughts/prayers as they traverse the difficult end to the journey to bring Paul home.
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