Continuation of search 1974-007

March 29, 1974
Jensen Canyon, Cabazon

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RMRU had originally planned to continue the search of Allen Coghetti on Saturday, but with the mission 1974-009 and the request from Lt. Ray Campbell, we resumed the search at daybreak Friday morning.

Ten RMRU members left their job to don packs, hike into poison oak and dodge rattlesnakes. Even though our hearts were not into it, we proceeded with the job at hand with the usual professional skill that RMRU has been noted for. (Note: Both the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit were criticized for discontinuing the search on the previous Sunday evening.) One by one, assignments were taken care of. By Friday evening we had eliminated one entire rock face. This had required climbing and rappelling all day long.

Pictured is the dense Scrub Oak that the missing boy fell into.Saturday morning once again found us hiking up Jensen Canyon. While some of us climbed rock faces and checked out ledge after ledge, Hank Schmel, Rick Pohlers and John Dew proceeded into the small side canyon we lovingly named, ‘Poison Oak Canyon’. About 10:30 that morning the radio came to life when the code that a body had been found. Hank’s team had found the missing boy on a ledge covered with scrub oak. In fact the body was almost completely concealed by the bushes.

While some members hiked out to pickup needed equipment, others hiked into the small canyon to assist. During this time the Sheriff’s Department contacted Don Landells and requested his helicopter.

When Landells arrived, the necessary equipment was loaded onto his bird, and then flown into the canyon. The body was loaded onto a litter, carried over to a helispot, loaded onto the helicopter, flown out to base and turned over to the coroner. We learned later that the boy had most likely died before he had landed on the ledge when he had fallen nine days before.

The dotted line shows the approximate route of young Allen Coghetti's 350 foot plunge to death. The large arrow points to waiting RMRU members and the small one in the circle to where the body lay.