A legally blind senior citizen who went missing over the weekend while hiking in Joshua Tree National Park was found safe Tuesday morning, authorities said.
Rescuers began searching for David Sewell, 76, of Joshua Tree, early Monday and located him around 11 this morning. He had left a note in his car, which was found Saturday night, indicating that he had departed “for an unspecified location in Johnny Long Canyon” and that if he did not return the following day, “he would need assistance,” according to a statement released by park officials.
Sewell was found not far from where his car was found at the Quail Springs Day Use Area, which is near the San Bernardino County-Riverside County border within the park.
According to park spokesman George Land, Sewell was airlifted out of the area due to the remoteness of the terrain. It was unclear whether he sustained any injuries during the time of his disappearance, but Land said Sewell was conscious when located and spoke with his rescuers.
Around 50 searchers began looking for Sewell starting around 6:45 a.m. Monday, with two K-9 teams and helicopters dispatched.
Park officials said they had spoken with Sewell’s daughter, who told them that in addition to being legally blind, he also suffers from “numerous health issues.”