The body of a missing park visitor was found by search-and-rescue personnel at Joshua Tree National Park Wednesday evening, June 6. A 41 year old Vancouver, British Columbia resident was found in an area of rock formations near Jumbo Rocks Campground. The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Rangers received the report of a missing camper on the morning of June 6. The camper was reported to rangers as planning to arrive at the park on Saturday, June 2 with the intention of returning to friends in Santa Paula, California on June 5. Initial reports indicated that the missing party was staying at Indian Cove Campground, but a search of the area by park rangers failed to locate either the missing person or his car. Rangers broadened the search to include all park campgrounds, picnic areas, and trailheads. The victim's car was found at Jumbo Rocks Campground, but there was no sign of the missing party.
A ground search was started in the afternoon and involved park rangers, Joshua Tree Search and Rescue (JOSAR) volunteers, and the Riverside County Sheriffs Department. The California Highway Patrol provided a helicopter to assist with the search. The victim was located at approximately 9:30 pm in an area of granite cliffs and boulder formations about ¾-mile from the campground.
Joshua Tree National Park rangers are assisting the Riverside County Sheriffs Department with the investigation of the fatality.