Search Underway for Missing PCT Hiker Amidst California Heat Wave

UPDATED 7/11, 2 p.m. MT: The Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation reported that the family of Mr. Kim confirmed he was found deceased yesterday. No official updates have been released from the sheriff’s office or search authorities.

Search and rescue efforts are currently underway for 61-year-old Hantae Kim, who was reported missing while section hiking the Pacific Crest Trail near Fuller Ridge Trailhead in the San Jacinto Mountains.

The Chula Vista resident left home at 5 a.m. on Friday and was expected home by 2 a.m. on Sunday. Family members reported him missing when he failed to return.

Kim, whose car was discovered at the Fuller Ridge Trailhead, intended to hike to Snow Creek and back, a trail he had mapped on his AllTrails account. The missing hiker also reportedly sent photos to his family from locations along the trail, and was last heard from on the morning of July 6. 

Photo credit via Horror-Tower-3964 on Reddit

Amidst a scorching heat wave, much of California has been under an Excessive Heat Warning this past week. San Jacinto set a new record of 114 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday. Temperatures hardly cooled over the weekend, pushing the thermometer into triple digits through Saturday and Sunday. 

Authorities and local SAR teams are utilizing coordinates from Kim’s phone and trail recordings to scour the formidable terrain in hopes of locating him. Kim is described as five feet, eight inches tall, weighing 170 pounds. According to photos, he is wearing a gray Columbia jacket, hat, and is carrying a small orange Osprey backpack. 

This incident is separate from the other missing PCT hiker, Robert “Ambassador” Budinski, who was reported missing earlier this month near Idyllwild, California. 

Anyone with information on Kim’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office at 951-776-1099, extension 5. 

Featured image courtesy of Horror-Tower-3964 via Reddit.

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