During Search for Missing Hiker
126 people working in 23 teams
searching Mt. Baldy
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.
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.
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.
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.
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