Tag Archives: joshua tree national park search and rescue

CORONER CONFIRMS BODY FOUND IN PARK IS MISSING 29 PALMS MAN

Patrick Welz

The San Bernardino County Coroner’s office has confirmed the body found Sunday in Joshua Tree National Park was that of Patrick Welz, 38. Welz, a former Marine living in Twentynine Palms,  had been reported missing by his wife Thursday (June 10). Park Rangers had organized a search and his pick-up truck was found at a campsite in the Indian Cove area the same day. The Coroner said that Saturday morning (June 12), a park ranger saw what appeared to be a human arm protruding from under a large boulder. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Cave Unit responded to the area Sunday (June 13) and recovered the body of Welz. He had last been seen Saturday (June 5) when he said he was going to drive to Riverside to visit his father.

CORONER CONFIRMS BODY FOUND IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK IS THAT OF A MISSING 29 PALMS MAN

The San Bernardino County Coroner’s office has confirmed the body found Sunday in Joshua Tree National Park was that of Patrick Welz, 38. Welz had been reported missing by his wife Thursday (June 10). Park Rangers had organized a search and his pick-up truck was found at a campsite in the Indian Cove area the same day. The Coroner said that Saturday morning (June 12), a park ranger saw what appeared to be a human arm protruding from under a large boulder. The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue Cave Unit responded to the area Sunday (June 13) and recovered the body of Welz. He had last been seen June 5 when he said he was going to drive to Riverside to visit his father.

BODY FOUND IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK TODAY THOUGHT TO BE MISSING TWENTYNINE PALMS MAN

Searchers looking for a Twentynine Palms man whose car was found in the Indian Cove parking lot in Joshua Tree National Park have found a body. Patrick Welz was last seen June 5th when he said he was driving to Riverside to see his father. Welz had worked for the City of Twentynine Palms Animal Control Department about 2 years ago. While the body has not been positively identified, Park officials said the search for Welz was suspended Sunday (June 13) after the body was located in Joshua Tree National Park. This multi-day effort was conducted by National Park Service, Joshua Tree Search and Rescue (JOSAR), California Highway Patrol Air Operations, and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. A recovery operation is ongoing. Identification is pending an investigation by San Bernardino County Medical Examiner. No further information is available at this time.

Patrick Welz

BODY FOUND IN NATIONAL PARK IDENTIFIED AS MISSING OCEANSIDE MAN

A body discovered Wednesday (May 26) has been identified as that of missing a Oceanside man, Joey Espinoza, 20, according to the county coroner’s office. Espinosa was last seen by a family member who dropped him off 30 miles east of Twentynine Palms on May 16. Espinosa told his grandmother he was answering a “Call from God” and walked south into the desert.

Wednesday (May 26), detectives assigned to the Morongo Basin Station responded to Joshua Tree National Park to assist in the active search-and-rescue operation southeast of Ironage Road and Twentynine Palms Highway in Wonder Valley. The volunteer Joshua Tree Search-and-Rescue (JOSAR) team located several articles of clothing and called in a CHP helicopter to help in the search. The helicopter crew found Espinoza’s body at about 1 p.m. in the open desert within the Joshua Tree National Park boundary.

There is no indication of foul play, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

INJURED LA QUINTA MAN RESCUED AFTER 40 HOURS IN JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

A La Quinta man who went hiking alone in Joshua Tree National Park last Thursday is lucky to be alive after he fell and broke his leg and was stranded in the desert for nearly two days. Robert Ringo went to the park Thursday and parked his car about 1 ½ miles from the Keys View overlook area. He then hiked east into the desert. He hadn’t gone far—about a quarter of a mile—before he fell and broke his left leg. Ringo said he had tagged his location before he left, and on Friday, his family started looking for him. Park rangers were notified in the early morning hours by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department about the missing hiker. When rangers arrived at the Keys View area at 5 a.m. Saturday, they found deputies on scene with Ringo’s vehicle. Canine and human trackers, as well as a CHP helicopter, quickly located Ringo about one-quarter mile east of the Key’s View Road. He was transported by backboard to a CHP helicopter, and then flown to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs where he had surgery on his broken leg. Ringo is expected to make a full recovery, and said he plans to continue hiking.

Managing editor Tami Roleff offers these tips on hiking safely in the desert…

The first rule of hiking is don’t hike alone. The second rule is to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return. Bring at least one quart of water for every hour you plan to be gone. Hike in the early morning or late evening hours and avoid the hottest part of the day. Even experienced hikers can be overcome by heat-related illness. Most areas of Joshua Tree National Park and many areas of the Mojave Desert have no cell phone service; to be extra safe, bring a satellite phone or a personal locator beacon that you can activate in case of an emergency.