Missing 2-Year-Old Boy

June 23, 1977

by John Muratet

On Wednesday night, 22 June, RMRU was gathered in their regular monthly meeting in Riverside. At about 2130 hours, (9:30) the pagers went off and Al Andrews went to a pay phone in the building to investigate the nature of this call. He was told that a 2 year old boy, Joshua Garvey, was missing from home in the Rubidoux area close to the gravel pits. He had been missing approximately 2 hours. The sheriff had been notified. Volunteers from the community, fire department, and other sources had been helping search during these 2 hours. Not having found the child in that length of time, they decided, "let's get mountain rescue unit". This was the reason for the pager call. Needless to say, the meeting broke up immediately, and everyone started rolling toward the search area.

When I arrived at the scene there was an army of people just milling over the area. The Riverside police helicopter, which was also assisting that night because he was equipped with high intensity lights and a loud speaker, was kind enough to ask the people in the field to please leave the area and they all complied.

Now it was time for RMRU to go to work. John Dew, Tom Aldrich, and Ed Hill were dispatched to go with the tracking dogs that had been sent from March Air Field. Pete Carlson and Bernie McIlvoy were sent to check the hillside of Jurupa Mt. to see if they could pick up any tracks. Rick Pohlers and I were sent to check the road that leads up into the mountain and into the quarry. Larry Brown went with a deputy to check the road just north of the freeway. At 2340 hours (11:40 p.m.) all reported negative results.

So it was time to develop new assignments. Larry Brown was sent to check any pools in the area. Tom Aldrich was sent with Larry Roland to the child's home to see if any more information could be obtained from the parents. Rick Pohlers and I were sent to check behind the houses.

At 0030 hours (12:30 a.m.) Pete Carlson reported back that they had "good tracks" southwest of the house, but after talking with Larry Roland and Tom Aldrich at the child's house it was determined that the prints were too large. At 1400 hours (2:00 a. m.) the search teams returned to base to begin again at dawn.

The sun came up and there was a thick overcast. The sheriff was briefing the fire department for a house to house search. Don Landells and the San Bernardino helicopters were called in. Landells was the first to arrive and said he had a terrible time flying in through the overcast. Not long after Landells landed we heard the San Bernardino bird fly over and out of sight, but soon returned to find us, and land./p>

Pete Carlson, Larry Roland, and I climbed into Landells bird and soon were making sweeps back and forth across the hillside and quarry. After thoroughly checking the area, with no results, it was suggested to try the other side of the mountain.

Ed Hill and John Dew were flying in the Sheriff's bird checking the higher ridges again. We, who were flying with Don Landells, flew over a ridge and spotted a man and child walking down a road. Closer examination proved that it was our boy. Landells brought the bird down and we picked up Joshua Garvey in good condition but very scared.

What Joshua had done was walk around the mountain which was over a mile from his home. The tracks that Pete Carlson and his team had picked up the night before were actually the boy's, but the shoe size that was reported was incorrect therefore abandoned. We soon had Joshua aboard and were back at base and reunited mother with son.