Hiker, 15, separated from her group, sets off hours-long search

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST – A young hiker became separated from her group while hiking along the Skyline Trail in the Cleveland National Forest, Friday, June 10. She was eventually located and returned home safely to her anxious family after an extensive search of the area, Riverside Sheriff’s Sergeant Ray Ricken explained in a press release.

The hiker, who was only identified as a 15-year-old girl from Corona, was eventually located after a large, coordinated search conducted by multiple agencies spanning two counties.


Volunteer members of the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit assisted in the hours-long search for the lost 15-year-old hiker. RMRU photo

The search included deputies from the Riverside Sheriff’s Jurupa Valley Station, helicopters from Riverside and Orange Counties, members from the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit, US Department of Forestry rangers, Riverside Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team members, and a Riverside Sheriff’s bloodhound, according to Ricken.

The search began after Riverside County emergency dispatchers received a 911 call at 10:49 a.m., from a person reporting the girl’s disappearance during the group hike.

Deputies from the Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s Station were the first to respond to the Skyline Trail entrance to the Cleveland National Forest. The trailhead on the Riverside County side of the mountain is located in Corona.

First arriving deputies learned the young hiker became separated from her group during the hike along the mountainous trail. When the group exited the mountain at Skyline Trail, they realized the juvenile was no longer with the group and was missing. After waiting for a while without the juvenile exiting the trail an adult called 911 to report the incident.

Westbound aerial view of the Cleveland National Forest, where a lost 15-year-old hiker had to be rescued after becoming separated from the group she was hiking along the Skyline Trail with.

Westbound aerial view of the Cleveland National Forest, where a lost 15-year-old hiker had to be rescued after becoming separated from the group she was hiking along the Skyline Trail with.

Deputies learned the missing girl did not have a cellular phone or water in her possession. During a thorough initial search of the area with assistance from a Riverside County Sheriff’s Aviation helicopter and rangers from the US Department of Forestry, the juvenile was not located. After the search failed to locate the juvenile, officials on scene called for additional resources to respond to the area to assist in the search, Ricken explained.

As the ground and air search continued an Orange County Sheriff’s Helicopter spotted the missing teen. The aviation crew was able to safely removed the exhausted girl from the mountain and brought her to AMR paramedics who had responded to the location. She was evaluated and treated at the scene by paramedics who determined she was not injured and did not require any further medical assistance. She was subsequently returned home to her family.

“The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department would like to remind hiking enthusiasts to carry proper equipment for any outdoor excursion,” Ricken explained in the press release. “Proper preparedness includes a well thought-out travel plan shared with friends and family, as well as familiarity with common hiking equipment, such as GPS, maps and compasses.”

RMRU offers several helpful, lifesaving tips at their website.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact the Jurupa Valley Sheriff’s Station at (951) 955-2600. Callers can refer to incident file number E161620014 and can remain anonymous. Citizens may also submit a tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.


Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

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