Missing Hikers Found
According to officials, the three missing hikers who were two days late in returning from a hiking trip over the weekend in Emigrant Wilderness have been located in Tuolumne County. The hikers were found near Sheep Camp.
Authorities received a call just after 6:00 p.m. on Monday, October 17, 2016, that Christine Ricks, 46, Venue Aruva, 32, and Steven Morales, 62, had not returned home on Sunday after the trio went hiking.
Wilderness Permits Obtained Before Hike
The three hikers obtained a wilderness permit from the U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday of last week. According to the sheriff’s office, the permit said that they were planning to start their hike on Thursday and return home on Sunday.
Kennedy Meadows to Sheep Camp
The hikers were taking off from and returning to Kennedy Meadows, with a final destination of Sheep Camp. The proprietor of Kennedy Meadows said he spoke to the trio before they left for their hike, and they indicated to him that they planned to hike to Emigrant Lake. They also mentioned stopping near Relief Reservoir.
Honda CRV Sitting In Resort Parking Lot
The proprietor stated they left a Honda CRV at his resort on Thursday, which deputies confirmed around 10:30 p.m. on Monday.
Inclement Weather Conditions
A Kennedy Meadows caretaker told investigators that a weekend storm caused highly muddy conditions. He said the storm caused the Stanislaus River to rise nearly 3 feet. He added that the water flow was much greater than any storm he had seen for this particular time of the year.
Combined Search Efforts
A Cal Fire helicopter and the Tuolumne County search and rescue team assisted in the search efforts. The condition of the hikers was not made available at the time of this writing.
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