PCT hiker last seen in Idyllwild is still missing

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Reported missing June 30

David O’Sullivan, 25, of County Cork in Ireland, came to the U.S. to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. He has been missing since April 7 when he was in Idyllwild.
Photo courtesy Murrieta Police Department

David O’Sullivan, 25, left his home in Midleton, County Cork, Ireland, on March 20. A novice hiker, O’Sullivan planned a five-month hike of the entire Pacific Crest Trail from the border with Mexico to that with Canada.

He started in Campo on March 22. He last contacted his family on April 7, from Idyllwild, where he emailed them and mailed a package from the Idyllwild Post Office. At that time, there was still snow in the San Jacinto Mountains — something O’Sullivan had said he hoped to avoid.

O’Sullivan is 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 154 pounds, has brown hair and blue eyes, wears glasses and has a heavy Irish accent. The missing person report was filed in the U.S. with the Murrieta Police Department.

At present, Detective Sean Lawlor, Murrieta Police, is working with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and authorities in San Bernardino County. He also is following a lead from a trail angel who might have given O’Sullivan a ride to Whitewater, thus avoiding the snow in the San Jacinto Range.

But even were that to be confirmed, O’Sullivan has not been heard from for more than three months. He did have a phone but had no international data plan. He had been relying on local wi-fi for communication with family.

On July 25 of this year, PCT hikers found the body of a PCT hiker who had been missing since July 8. The body of Japanese national Rika Morita, 35, was discovered submerged in a river at 10,000-feet elevation in Kings Canyon National Park.

Park officials warned hikers that although travel conditions had improved in the Sierras, “rapid snow melt continues at high elevations, resulting in dangerous water crossings and persistent snow and ice. Wilderness travelers are encouraged to have flexible plans and scout for the safest locations and times to cross, which may not be the same as in previous years, or at regular trail crossing locations.”

Anyone with information or leads regarding David O’Sullivan can contact Det. Lawlor at 951-545-0030 or 461-3654, or the Murrieta Police at 951-304-2677.

Information and leads about O’Sullivan also can be forwarded to Irish Outreach, San Diego, a nonprofit serving the Irish community in San Diego and recently arrived Irish immigrants, at 619-291-1630. Executive Director Stephen Aherne is the contact person.

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