Twentynine Palms, CA
A large search is currently underway for two hikers believed to be lost in Joshua Tree National Park. A vehicle belonging to the couple was found in the vicinity of the Maize Loop, in the northwest area of the park. Both individuals are in there 20’s. The woman is of Asian descent and the man’s nationality is not known at this time.
The subjects were supposed to check out of their accommodations at 11am on July 28. All of their belongings were left behind with no further contact to their room. A ping of the male’s cell phone was recorded on July 27 at 4pm from a location inside the park.
Joshua Tree National Park Search and Rescue, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol are operating under unified command with fixed wing, helicopter and K-9 assistance currently deployed.
According to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, More than 60 search and rescue team members were out over the weekend searching miles of trails near the Maze Loop Trail. This is near the West entrance of the park.
They had no luck finding anything, so this week they’ve scaled back, moving the command post the the San Bernardino Sheriffs Station off Hwy 62. They’re now searching isolated spots where they believe the couple could be located. They’ll also be doing searches by air over the entire park area.
According to the Joshua Tree National Park Public Information Officer, officials request only trained search and rescue crews to take part in the search. Although they thank others for trying to help in the search efforts, they don’t want those visitors to get lost in the process of searching for the couple.
They’ve also pulled back several search and rescue teams due to weather advisories but are still actively searching areas with other teams. The PIO says difficult terrains have made it nearly impossible to find solid shoe prints from the couple. They also say they have little clothing description to go off of for what the couple could’ve been wearing on Thursday morning when they arrived at the park around 6:45am.
Right now, they’re still holding out hope that these two will be found. PIO says family members are present and are hopeful that their loved ones will be found alive and safe.
If anyone has seen or had contact with a couple fitting the description, please call San Bernardino Dispatch at 909 383-5652.
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