51°F
weather icon Cloudy

Marine Corps Lt. goes missing during hike

A missing Marine Corps lieutenant, out on a hike, has prompted an intense multi-agency search in the Kearsarge Pass area of California.

As stated in a news release on the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office social media page, Lt. Matthew Kraft’s journey began last month as he embarked on the hike along the Sierra High Route, approximately 195 miles in length, through the Sierra Nevada range.

“Lt. Kraft’s itinerary was the Sierra High Route, which included hiking out of Kearsarge Pass on Feb 24th and hiking out near the Twin Lakes area by Bridgeport on March 4th or 5th,” the posting stated. “On March 4th, Lt. Kraft’s father contacted the Mono County Sheriff’s Office after not hearing from his son.”

The release went on to state that the Mono County Sheriff’s Office began checking trailheads in the Bridgeport area on March 4.

Cell phone forensics initiated by the sheriff’s office showed that his last phone activity was in the Independence area.

As a result, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue began a search on March 5, but winter storms in the Sierra have made search activities extremely difficult.

Both ground and aerial reconnaissance teams have been used and will continue the search as weather permits.

“Inyo County Search and Rescue members deployed what’s known as a Snowcat to rope-tow search and rescue team members on skis up to the Onion Valley parking area, just above Independence CA,” the release noted. “Search and Rescue team members will clear as much area as possible on Kearsarge Pass. Team members will work as long as weather permits.”

A Snowcat is a vehicle specially designed to rescue those stranded in the snow.

Additionally, the release stated that the area known as Onion Valley Road is currently closed for the winter and impassable due to heavy snow and rock fall.

In order to access the search area, the snowcat was utilized to transport the search and rescue teams.

“The team reached about 8,000 feet, approximately two miles from the Kearsarge Trailhead, where recent avalanche debris was observed covering the road,” the release stated. “Other smaller avalanches were also observed in several chutes across the road. Due to avalanche concerns, the team decided that it would be too risky to proceed.

“Aerial search crews noted several significant avalanches throughout the Sierra backcountry and along the Sierra High Route. Searches will be primarily air-based. Ground searching has proven to be too dangerous due to snow instability and avalanche concerns. Sequoia and Kings National Park will also be providing a helicopter.”

Individuals with any information regarding Kraft’s whereabouts should immediately contact the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at 760-878-0383, option 4; the Mono County Sheriff’s Office at 760-932-7549/ option 7; or the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at 559-600-8400.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Valley aquifer could reach “critical management” levels by 2055

After many months of painstaking research and calculations, a date has been placed on when the Pahrump Valley’s sole-source aquifer could reach critical management, with officials pegging the timeline at somewhere between the year 2055 and 2060. However, it was emphasized that this is an estimation and with so many variables at play, there is a possibility it could change.

How an injured and abandoned dog in Pahrump overcame the odds

A stray dog that was homeless, hospitalized and facing euthanasia earlier this month is now on the mend thanks to several in the community who helped raise thousands for its life-saving care.

Kellogg Park set for $70k expansion — here are the plans

The town of Pahrump is poised to purchase a parcel adjoining the lands dedicated to Kellogg Park, with a $70,000 offer for the 4.39 acre lot at 3781 E. Santovito St.

Guns, drugs, cash recovered in search could be part of crime ring, sheriff says

Officials from the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Unit are assisting the Nye County Sheriff’s Office in the arrest and investigation of a man allegedly found possessing a hoard of guns, drugs and cash, according to Sheriff Joe McGill.

No same-day registration for Nye’s next live tax sale

Nye County is coming up on its next delinquent property tax sale and there is going to be a big change to the process — for the first time, there will be no same-day registration available.

Rare opportunity to kayak in Death Valley

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – A temporary lake provides a rare opportunity to kayak in the driest place in the United States: Death Valley National Park.

2024 Dark Sky Festival could lure thousands to Death Valley

DEATH VALLEY, Calif. – Explore the wonders of space from one of the darkest locations in the United States. The Death Valley Dark Sky Festival will take place Friday, March 1 through Sunday, March 3. This popular event was attended by over 3,500 people last year.