Father and son missing

September 8, 2001
Trail to Tahquitz Rock

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By Garrick Lohoda
Idyllwild Town Crier

Nine members of RMRU were paged out of their homes at 10 p.m. on Saturday to look for Frank Harton and his 14=year-old son Julian.

The pair had been on the rock since 11 a.m. and were expected back at the cabin their family was renting in Fern Valley about 6 p.m.. About 9:30 p.m. Mr. Harton's wife call Riverside County Sheriff Department when her husband and son had not returned home.

"We had two crews out looking and within a few minutes found some climbing gear at the side of the Ernie Maxwell Trail the we identified as belonging to Mr. Harton," Darrell Bell, a spokesperson for RMRU, said.

He said the RMRU searchers were surprised because one of the pieces of equipment was still wet from sweat. The climbing gear was found only a few minutes from where Mr. Harton's car was parked in Humber Park.

The crews climbed the trail and also searched around the base of the rock but found no trace of the two missing people.

"Around 1 a.m. they walked up tp our van and we found out that they had lost the keys to their car and had gone back up the mountain to find them. They were both in good shape," Mr. Bell said.