California is home to a plethora of interesting topics. In our series on California, we’ve already covered California’s film industry, California’s reform movement, the Golden State’s economy, and California’s drought. If you haven’t already read these posts, be sure to check them out! This week, we turn to a spookier topic: missing people in California.
People go missing every day. It’s sad, but true. Most of these cases are solved or have explanations, but handfuls remain unsolved and don’t have easy answers. Many of these missing people cases occur in California’s National Parks, and Park Rangers have been tight-lipped about these unsolved cases. We’ll leave the speculation to you, but here are some of California’s strangest missing people cases.
The first case is about a missing 14-year-old girl who was on a horseback riding trip in the Sunrise Meadows area of Yosemite. She was with her dad and 7 other people. After a few hours of riding, the group took a break in a cluster of small cabins that they found. After cleaning up, the girl told her dad that she was going to go take pictures. She went to an elderly man from her group who was by a boulder 100 feet away. After taking a few pictures she told the man she was going to walk down the hill to take pictures of a nearby lake. Everyone in the group saw her walk to the old man and then walk down the hill towards the lake. But after she walked into a tree-line by the lake, she was never seen again.
When the group realized that she was missing, a massive search was conducted. The search lasted for 10 days, though people continued searching for the girl for two weeks. Helicopters with infrared radar and dozens of search-and-rescue professionals were involved in the search. But the only thing that the search group found was the lens cap from the girl’s camera. Not even tracks were found.
Here’s another case from 1992. A 12-year-old boy was with his parents in Yosemite. The boy was throwing pebbles into a stream, and he was out of his parents’ sight for only a few minutes before he disappeared. A few weeks later, the boy’s body was found on a mountain ridge 1,400 feet higher than where he was when he vanished.
Whether the bodies are later found or not, several of these strange cases exist, and records about the cases that should be public have not been released. In some instances, people have tried using the Freedom of Information Act to access these mysterious cases, but officials refused to release the records of the cases. Not only do these cases defy logic, but the official records of the cases seem to have vanished with the missing people! Sometimes these missing cases occur in the same area at different times, further adding to the mystery. State Parks like Yosemite seem to be the main place where these missing people cases occur. But the reason why these cases happen in State Parks, and why they sometimes occur in clusters, is unknown.
Although these cases still don’t have answers, lots of people have their own ideas of what happened. We may never know for sure, but what we do know is that California has some pretty strange mysteries!