Missing Hiker Whitewater Canyon

April 1, 2012
Whitewater Canyon

Written by Patrick McCurdy

On Sunday, April 1st, the Riverside Sheriff's Office (RSO) was asked to assist the San Bernardino Sheriff's Office (SBSO) with the search for 75-year-old John Hurgner, who was reported missing on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) near the Riverside/San Bernardino County line. His last known contact was on March 22 when he checked in with family from a campsite north of Snow Creek.

SBSO was working the mountainous area within their county and RSO was asked to search the area along the PCT from Snow Creek north. With Gwenda and Joe working at the command post, Patrick, Craig, and Roger (Barry) were sent out as Team 3. We started at Mission Creek Preserve and searched up to the junction with the PCT, working with Team 4 from Riverside Search Dogs. While Team 4 headed north along the PCT, Team 3 worked our way up toward Gorgonio Overlook, then searched all the drainages along the way back to the preserve. We found no sign of Mr. Hurgner, but it was a beautiful winter day in the foothills below San Gorgonio.

That evening search teams from SBSO made contact with Mr. Hurgner just a few miles north of the county line. He was in good health and we haven't heard any explanation for how he got lost.

RMRU team members present: Roger Barry, Joe Erickson, Patrick McCurdy, Craig Willis, and Gwenda Yates.

Other assisting Riverside teams: Desert Sheriff's Search and Rescue, Riverside Search Dogs, and Sheriffs Emergency Response Team (SERT).

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