On Saturday evening, May 9, deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Cabazon Station responded to the base of Black Mountain Trail and Highway 243 after receiving a call of a lost hiker.
Chiu Pan reported that her 18-year-old daughter, Betty Pan of Riverside, was on a three-day hike from Whitewater to the base of the Black Mountain Trail. Earlier Saturday, Chiu received a text message from Betty asking to be picked up at the base at 4:30 p.m.
Four hours later, Betty, a first-time hiker, had not arrived at the pick-up point. Chiu thought that Betty was prepared for the hike with plenty of food and supplies. But numerous phone calls to Betty’s cell phone went unanswered and attempts to ping her cell phone were unsuccessful as well.
Personnel from the Sheriff’s Department, Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit, Riverside County Desert Search and Rescue Unit, U.S. Forest Service and the Sheriff’s Department Aviation Unit responded.
At about 8 a.m. Sunday, a member of the Forest Service located Betty walking along the trail about 1.5 miles from Highway 243 and safely escorted her to the base of the trail. Betty was in good spirits and uninjured, and refused medical treatment.