Search and rescue team members with two Border Patrol dogs relax at the Incident Command Post at Marion Mountain Campground after a hiker missing since Saturday was rescued. Photo by Jack Clark


Alphonso Nguyen, 34, of Garden Grove was found safe at about 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, after calling 911 the previous Saturday at about 4:15 p.m. from his dying cell phone.

Nguyen was found with just cuts and bruises and some dehydration near Azalea Girl Scout Camp on Dark Canyon Road, said Sgt. Lawler with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, speaking from the Incident Command Post at Marion Mountain Campground. “He looked pretty good,” he said. American Medical Rescue took the hiker to the San Gorgonio Medical Center for evaluation.

Nguyen had been hiking with a group of people who became separated into two groups when one group moved faster than the other. Each of the groups thought he was with the other group. The party began at Marion Mountain Trail. Lawler said the ping on Nguyen’s cell phone was believed to be in the Little Round Valley area.

Besides the RC Sheriff’s Department, assisting in the rescue were volunteer search and rescue teams from sheriff’s departments in Orange, San Diego, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Kern counties; the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit; the Riverside County Fire Department in Pine Cove; and the Border Patrol Search, Trauma and Rescue who also provided two search dogs. Five RC search dogs also participated, as well as two RC helicopters.

A National Guard night helicopter was called off for Tuesday night’s search after Nguyen was found.