Woman missing from mountain home

November 22, 1981
Pine Cove

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By Mary Bowman

On Sunday about 4:30 p.m., the phone rang. When I answered it was my friend Barbara who lives in Pine Cove and she said, "Where are you? You were supposed to be here at 4:00." My first thought was; oh no, were we supposed to be there for dinner and I forgot? Before I could answer she said, "The Sheriff's Deputy said the rescue team would be here about 4:00 or 4:30." With a sigh of relief I told her I didn't know what he was talking about. Barbara informed me that about 11:00 that morning a lady who was spending the weekend at a neighbor's house had gone into the back yard to get some pine cones and disappeared.

The call came shortly after that, and I was rolling from my home in Idyllwild to Pine Cove. After making my way down the winding road to the Garthwaite's home, I started gathering information about the missing woman. Marie Maloney had been spending several days at the Garthwaite residence. It was her last day there, so she decided to gather a few pine cones behind the house before she went back to her home in Palm Desert. She never returned though. She only had slacks, blouse and a light sweater on. And for shoes she had on narrow healed sandals. At 7:30 pm Kevin Walker arrived with the No. 1 rescue van closely followed by John Dew and son Roy, final RMRU total would be 12.

Since there were a lot of dirt roads and fuel-breaks the Hemet Search and Rescue Team brought three 4-wheel drive vehicles. The Jeeps were very useful ferrying people up and down the fuel-breaks and dirt roads. Also, it was a good situation for bloodhounds so Sierra Madre Search and Rescue was called. They responded with 10 people and 3 dogs.

With the help of the jeeps, search teams were put out in various locations. Fortunately for Marie it was a warm night. The search teams worked on into the night, but did not turn any substantial leads. The same went for the Bloodhounds and their handlers.

About 4:00 the next morning the tired searchers went to bed for a couple of hours and at 6:30 Monday morning just as they were leaving base camp to resume the search word came via the Sheriff's radio that Marie had been found near Alvin Meadows about five miles away by an early morning quail hunter.

Once back at base, Marie told us that while she was gathering pine cones, a pack of dogs came along and started to fight with a dog that was walking with her. To get away from the fight, she left the trail and went down hill. She quickly became lost and wandered into the night. She got on top of some large boulders and spent a nervous night listening to the coyotes howl. When morning came she spotted a dirt road below her and headed to it. That was when she came across the quail hunter. So, other than two very sore feet, she was in good condition.