News Release

Search for Matt Thoke in Sequoia National Park Ends, His Body Recovered Sunday August 8

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Date: August 9, 2021
Contact: Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, (559) 679 2866

SEQUOIA AND KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARKS, Calif. August 9, 2021 – Trained searchers assisting the Thoke family were able to locate Matt Thoke on Saturday and National Park Service (NPS) Rangers recovered his body on Sunday. Thoke was found in a location that was not visible by air and hardly visible on the ground, not far from where he was last seen, in technical terrain.

An extensive multi-agency search began on Wednesday, July 21 in Sequoia National Park for Matt Thoke, 43, of Newport Beach, CA. The search scaled back to limited continuous mode on August 2, meaning that while searching continued, the large number of resources and personnel that had been dedicated to this effort were reduced. The family was able to recruit skilled search teams to continue search efforts in coordination with NPS incident managers.

“We are saddened by this conclusion but are grateful for all the agencies, organizations, friends and family who worked on this effort,” says Clay Jordan, superintendent of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. “It often takes a village to bring things to a close. We ask that the public and press continue to respect the family’s privacy in this extremely difficult time.”

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks thanks all involved in the search for Thoke including friends and family, Tulare, Fresno, Los Angeles, and Alameda County Sherriff’s Offices, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Pinnacles National Parks, Sierra Madre Mountain Rescue, the Bakersfield Police Department, California National Guard, California Office of Emergency Services, and the US Forest Service.

Last updated: August 9, 2021

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