Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rescue Crews Locate Missing Hikers On Mt. San Jacinto

By Mirna Alfonso

A Culver City couple who went missing while hiking the Mount San Jacinto Wilderness were found Sunday afternoon, a sheriff's deputy said.

Michael Cao, and his wife, 55-year-old Yi Mei, were in good condition and were being hiked to the Palm Springs Tram sheriff's station, said sheriff's Deputy Robert Martinez.

They were uninjured and needed no medical care, he said.

The couple had been expected back at their home 6 p.m. Saturday but never showed, authorities said.


Sheriff's rescue crews were out in force Sunday to search for a husband and wife who went missing while hiking in the Mount San Jacinto Wilderness.

Culver City residents Michael Cao, and his wife, 55-year-old Yi Mei, set out from the Palm Springs Tram Station about 8 a.m. Saturday for a hike, with plans to return home by 6 p.m.

Sheriff's deputies from the Cabazon substation were notified of the couple's delay about 12:15 a.m., according to Sgt. Steve Fredericks.

Deputies found the couple's vehicle at the Palm Springs Tram parking lot but no one has seen or heard from them since Saturday morning, Fredericks said.

Deputies, an air crew and a mountain rescue team were in the area Sunday afternoon searching for the couple, the sergeant said.

"The Riverside County Sheriff's Department would like to remind hiking enthusiasts that adequate hydration, hiking in groups, and communication devices are all essential elements of a safe and successful hiking excursion," Fredericks said.

"Remember that extreme temperature changes occur in these mountainous areas," he added.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call deputies at the Cabazon station, 951.922.7100 or through its Website,

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