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Authorities searching for lost hiker

27-year-old man was separated from his group in Angeles Forest

Posted: January 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 14, 2013 2:00 a.m.

The “full-on” search for a hiker missing in the Angeles National Forest since Saturday night is expected to resume Monday after an all-day search Sunday failed to produce any trace of the missing man, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m. Saturday, a 27-year-old man hiking north of the San Gabriel Reservoir and near Highway 39 became separated from his fellow hikers, about 15 miles southeast of Acton, said Sgt. David Grall of the San Dimas Sheriff’s Station.

Frigid temperatures dipped to below freezing overnight in the mountains where the hiker went missing, he said.

“The weather is definitely a concern for us,” Grall told The Signal Sunday.

The hiker, who lives in the San Gabriel Valley, reportedly had no hat, no map, no head light, no water and no backpack when he was reported missing, he said.

“We are actively searching since about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. We had night crews working and now we have day crews working with aerial search operations in effect,” Grall said.

At 5:30 p.m. Sunday, when the sun set, search tactics for nighttime searching began, said Deputy Matt Bodell, contacted at the command center on Highway 39.

The search was concentrated on Bear Creek, just west of Highway 39.

“We’re still working on it. We’re going to be up there all night,” Bodell said. “We’ve flown in, we’ve walked in, we’ve brought dogs in and we’re still at it.”

“Tomorrow (Monday) morning we’ll be bringing in additional resources,” he said. “We put out a request for county and state resources.”

Asked if searchers had found any clues to the hiker’s whereabouts, Bodell said: “I’m not hearing that.”

Meanwhile, as were the concerns overnight Saturday, searchers are worried about freezing temperatures.

“It is very cold up there,” Bodell said. “And, that is a huge concern for us.”

Search and rescue crews paid particular attention to the area around north and west of the San Gabriel Reservoir, along the West Fork Road and near Bear Creek.

The search area is about 10 miles south of Littlerock and about 15 miles southeast of Acton.

On Sunday morning, the Los Angeles County Fire Department airlifted searchers into the area, said Supervisor Melanie Flores.

“We airlifted sheriff’s search and rescue personnel into the area,” she said.

Search dogs and their handlers were also brought to the area.

Late in the day, searchers worked with one of the missing man’s friends who suggested they check out Valley of the Moon location, halfway between the San Gabriel Reservoir and the Angeles Crest Highway.

The friend said that he and the man now missing had planned to get to that particular trail location, about six miles south of Devil’s Punchbowl Park, a popular hiking location for residents of the Santa Clarita Valley.


On Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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