During Search for Missing Hiker

126 people working in 23 teams searching Mt. Baldy 

Timothy Staples         

Saturday afternoon, December 14, 2019, a San Bernardino County Sheriff - Search and Rescue Team member radioed and advised he was separated from his partner, Timothy Staples. 

Around 1:30 P.M., a Los Angeles County Sheriff Helicopter Crew responded to search for the team members.  The L.A. County Helicopter Crew located Staples unresponsive in an area of ice and snow.  A medic was lowered to Staples and unfortunately, he was discovered deceased. It was determined that Staples had fallen down into an ice shute.  Staples body was hoisted and transported from the wilderness. 

The surviving team member was later hoisted from the mountain and returned to the S & R Command Post.  At this point the Search and Rescue Teams assigned were called to a halt.    

Thirty-two year-old Timothy Staples and his partner were part of the ongoing search efforts to locate missing hiker Sree Mokkapati.  Searcher Staples was one of the 126 people working in 23 teams searching large sections of Mt. Baldy. He was a dedicated volunteer and a 9-year veteran with the San Bernardino County Sheriff - Search and Rescue Team assigned to the West Valley Search and Rescue Unit.

San Bernardino County Sheriff Investigators responded to the location to conduct interviews and review the scene for information helped identify what occurred. The  remaining search teams are being recalled from Mount Baldy.  The initial search operation for Mr. Mokkapati has been suspended and search operations will be reevaluated.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff Department would like to thank the Los Angeles County Sheriff Helicopter Crew and all the allied agencies for their assistance during this difficult search. 

For full story read https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-12-15/search-and-rescue-volunteer-dies-mt-baldy-fall-search-missing-hiker