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Contact: George Land, 760-367-5507
A 40 year old El Monte man who was reported late, was found by searchers alive and well. Ali Sandoval was reported overdue by family around 11pm, Saturday evening. His vehicle was located at the trailhead for Mastodon Peak and Lost Palms Oasis by family members and a search was launched at 7am, Sunday morning.
Participating in the search was Joshua Tree National Park Search and Rescue, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and well as a California Highway Patrol helicopter based in Thermal, CA. At approximately 1:35pm, the CHP helicopter crew saw what they described as a “tired looking male” on the ground, waving. The subject was found approximately one mile north of the Mastodon Trail.
Sandoval was evacuated by helicopter and walked under his own power to a waiting vehicle. He was transported by ambulance to a Coachella Valley hospital for observation and evaluation.
Park officials advise hikers to always let someone know where you plan to hike and what time you plan to return. Always carry more water than you think you will need.