Search Continues For Missing Joshua Tree Hikers

News Staff

Joshua Tree, CA

Entering the third week of searching, the Joshua Tree Search and Rescue team is scaling back its search efforts for Rachel Nguyen and Joseph Orbeso to weekends. But one volunteer isn’t giving up. 

"It’s unusual because there’s good tracks down in the canyon, but none going to it or back from it," said Brian Rennie, a volunteer with JOSAR Search and Rescue.

Nguyen and Orbeso were reported missing on July 28th when they didn’t check out of their Air B-n-B.

Now the JOSAR Search and Rescue team look for the pair on weekends, but Rennie still looks for clues even this morning. 

"I went up in the Maze, and hiked around for other signs," Rennie said.

Rennie said they are now looking for items that may have been left behind.

"Now you’re looking for signs, any kind of clues, maybe you find a water bottle," Rennie explained. 

He said what’s difficult about the search is all the rocks they could be under, and the heat on his team.

"We even had 2 or 3 of our guys come down from the heat. One of our guys was very close to a heat stroke," Rennie said about how dangerous the weather can be in Joshua Tree. 

Rennie said hikers should learn from this and carry a gallon of water.

"The best thing to do in this weather with the heat, probably even before you think you’re not going to make it back, is crawl under some shade and wait for it to get darker," Rennie said.

Rennie said hiking in the day diminishes your chances of returning. 

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