7/24 Missing Hiker Alert PCT Hiker (Resolved) | High Sierra Topix  

7/24 Missing Hiker Alert PCT Hiker (Resolved)

Use this forum to stay informed on missing persons alerts, active SAR's and unfortunate hiker accidents we can all hopefully learn from. Any information you may have on a missing person, including first hand weather related information or any other insight (however little) may prove to be critical information to Law Enforcement / SAR in locating the person in question.

7/24 Missing Hiker Alert PCT Hiker (Resolved)

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 24, 2017 2:58 pm

Facebook PCT:
ALERT!! For the purpose of a "Hotline" to be released to the general public, through Facebook or any other public forum, contact can be made via the Investigative Services Branch (ISB) Tip Line at 888-653-0009. Anyone can call this number at any time and leave messages. On July 7th, Rika Morita aka Strawberry, a 32 yo NOBO PCTer from Japan was last heard from family and last seen on the trail by other hikers on July 8th. Yosemite SAR have been alerted and currently searching for her. Below is information from a post from one of friends who is flying out from Germany to join with other friends to search for her, gave her last whereabouts and what her NOBO plans were. "Gathering all information the situation is as follows: We have a “Search for Rika” team now consisting of Gehn Shibayama, Christopher Lynch and me. Rika’s father doesn’t speak English. So Gehn joined in our team and got in direct contact with him. He’s fluent in English and Japanese. They had some phone calls in between. From this phone calls we learned from his father that Rika’s plan was to go the following route: Bishop – Muir Trail Ranch (MTR) – Red’s Meadows Resort (RMR) – Toulumne Meadows (TM) - Half Dome – Yosemite Valley – Toulumne Meadows – South Lake Tahoe. She had planned to do this in 11 days, but according to her plan she was overdue already 5 days in Bishop. Anyway. Rika was last seen by Aidan Dahler, Rachel Hopke, Greg Strachey and Justin Myers on July 8th 4 miles behind Glen pass. After fording a creek Rika went on solo while Greg and Justin were reorganizing their backpacks. On leaving Rika had announced to ask for their support (as she’s only 5 feet tall) at the next critical fording situation. The situations came, but Rika wasn’t there. Jonathan Szakacs saw her last on July 7th between 08:00 and 10:00 am when both they ran out of Bishop back on the PCT “but [she] pushed away”. They haven’t seen her since, and now they are in Toulumne Meadows. Neither in MTR, nor in VVR or RMR. TM itself is the place where Rika should contact Ted Hall who has got two boxes for Rika at his house in NorCal. By now there hasn’t been any call. It provides a little modicum of reassurance that actually it is impossible to make any calls from TM (no signal, public phone is out as PO is closed). As her plan was to go from TM to Half Dome we are now trying to find out if she obtained a permit for it. But officials in Yosemite are very slow, we are waiting for hours now for them to answer our request. To find out where Rika resupplied, we gathered the following information: We wrote an email to MTR to see if there was any sign of Rika. Still waiting for an answer. We called VVR to see if there was any record of her regarding resupply or if anybody has seen her. The answers was no. We contacted Moderne Hostel and Davison St Guest House in Mammoth Lakes to see if she checked in or has reservation. The answers were no. We contacted Sonora Resupply and Kennedy Meadows Resort to see if she was there or has sent resupply. The answers were no. We contacted Yosemite's Wilderness Office to see if she had overnight (necessary to hike down to Yosemite Valley) and Half Dome permit. She never obtained overnight permit. They are still researching Half Dome permit. John Godell checked Mammoth Lake Motel 6, but the answer was no. Regarding Donna L-Rod Saufley’s great idea to check her credit card records her Father told us that he doesn’t know which card she uses. Putting all this together, we don’t have any idea where she is or where she has been after the morning of July 8th. Please keep on helping. Gehn, Chris and Ingo".
You must register an account and login to view the files/photos attached to this post.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org



User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 9224
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: 7/24 Missing Hiker Alert PCT Hiker

Postby HiSierra » Mon Jul 24, 2017 5:19 pm

Mav, I was literally ready to paste this into a message to you when I saw your post.

It's sad how long it took for people to report her missing (since July 8). She's hiking alone in a foreign country in an epic year, but...

I can't figure out why this went to YOSAR when she was last seen in SEKI 140 miles from Yosemite, but I'm sure they're getting that worked out. I understand INYOSAR went over Kearsarge and should be in the area by now.
User avatar
HiSierra
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 8:58 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: 7/24 Missing Hiker Alert PCT Hiker

Postby HiSierra » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:11 am

PCT Class 2017 Facebook page poster says they found her body. So sad and tragic.
User avatar
HiSierra
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 8:58 pm
Experience: N/A

Recovered

Postby maverick » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:55 pm

Was waiting for the official word, here it is:

SEKI NP:
On Sunday, July 23 Park officials were notified that a group of hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail had discovered a body submerged in the South Fork of the Kings River, at an alternative water crossing at about 10,000 ft elevation, just north of Bench and Marjorie Lakes. Park ground and aviation staff confirmed the location that afternoon, and a recovery mission was completed on Monday, July 24. The remains were transferred to the Fresno County Coroner’s Office and identified as Rika Morita, a 32-year old PCT hiker from Japan. She had been reported overdue to park officials on Saturday, July 22, having been last seen around July 8 in the Rae Lakes area.

Wilderness travel conditions have improved and usage is increasing, however, rapid snow melt continues at high elevations, resulting in dangerous water crossings and persistent snow and ice. Wilderness travelers are encouraged to have flexible plans and scout for the safest locations and times to cross, which may not be the same as in previous years, or at regular trail crossing locations.


Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks would like to thank the Investigative Service Branch and Yosemite National Park for their assistance.
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 9224
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer


Return to Missing Persons Alerts / SAR Updates



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest