MADERA COUNTY — A two-day Search & Rescue effort concluded with the very best of outcomes when a missing man was located in the Miami Motorcycle Trail area this morning.
About 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 19, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office received a report that the parents of a 21-year-old man were unable to locate him in the forested area north of Oakhurst where his vehicle was parked. Their last reported contact with him had been about 6 a.m. that morning.
Several deputies responded to the location and began searching on Sunday night, without success.
On Monday morning, Commander Tyson Pogue put a call out for Madera County Search & Rescue (MADSAR) teams, canines and Off Highway Vehicles.
Searchers first conducted what is known as a “hasty search,” looking in the places most likely for someone to end up in similar circumstances — such as trails and clearings — again without success.
After conducting a full-scale search of the area, SAR Commander Pogue contacted the California Office of Emergency Services (CAL OES), requesting additional resources.
The Sheriff’s Office has mutual aid agreements with agencies throughout the state, and resources were dispatched from Fresno, Kern, Tulare and Mariposa Counties, including four addition canine teams.
Monday evening, the area was divided into grids and searchers assigned to specific areas. They did find various items belonging to the missing man during the day’s search, so they were confident he was in the area.
As darkness fell, the search scaled back and everyone regrouped in preparation for the next day’s mission. Several deputies did remain on the job throughout the night.
On Tuesday morning, one of the teams was made up of a Carda dog team, a flanker (someone who does navigation and communication so the handler can focus on the dog), and Madera County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jacob Tallmon. At about 10:30 a.m., this group finally located the young man about a mile from his vehicle, alive but very disoriented.
He had no food or water, and though uninjured, was in need of medical attention, according to Cmdr. Pogue. He was transported by ground ambulance to Madera Community Hospital.
The young man lives in Fresno, but is reportedly from Oakhurst and has family here.
“The success of this mission can be directly attributed to the hard work and training of our volunteers, sworn personnel assigned to MADSAR, and the resources that came to our aid from other counties,” says Cmdr. Pogue. “It’s a very happy ending to extremely complex and lengthy search.”
Over three-dozen personnel were involved in the efforts, including Search & Rescue volunteers, plus sworn personnel with the Madera County Sheriff’s Office and Carda search dog teams.