The search for John Sturkie will continue Saturday, June 1. Two weeks ago, the initial search discovered some valuable clues, said Theresa Sturkie, his wife of 21 years.
John, a 55-year-old husband and father of four, has been missing since Jan. 5.
A lover of the outdoors, frequent camper and hunter, Sturkie left his Oceanside home Friday, Jan. 4. Theresa said he frequently went alone on these adventures.
He was last seen Jan. 5 on the Black Mountain Truck Trail. Sometime during the day, three hikers encountered Sturkie, whose truck was stuck in the mud on the truck trail. They helped him free it and continued up the trail.
On their return, they met him with his truck stuck again. This time, according to the family’s Facebook page, they could not extricate his vehicle. He chose to stay with the truck rather than return Sunday to free it.
During the day, rain was falling all over the San Jacinto Mountains. And Saturday night, snow arrived. At lower elevations, such as Idyllwild and Fern Valley, 4 inches accumulated. And 9 inches were recorded at the Long Valley Ranger Station, which is much higher. Idyllwild’s recorded temperatures that day were a high of 47 degrees and a low of 34 degrees.
John was not prepared to spend extended time in freezing weather.
Theresa and family organized a search on Saturday, May 18. While they did not find Sturkie, the effort uncovered some positive evidence, she said.
“We found an article of clothing definitely his,” Theresa said. “It appears as though it was washed downhill.”
This was found further up the trail near its edge and near the end of that day’s search. They plan to explore the hillside below the trail on June 1.
Theresa said nearly 70 people signed up and participated two weeks ago.
If one wants to help and to participate, they should notify Theresa via email at [email protected]
“We want to know who came. Keep a card and offer safety advice. And explain where to sign in and out,” she added.
The organizing location will be the base of the Black Mountain Truck Trail along Highway 243, north of Idyllwild.