Pine Cove local Roy Prifogle was reported missing to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) after reportedly going on a hike in the Pine Cove area Wednesday, March 4, 2020, and not returning. He was reported missing to RCSD on March 5, 2020.
“On the second or third day of the search, we found his backpack, but have found no other clues as to his whereabouts,” said Deputy Jeremy Parsons.
Prifogle’s car was found on Acorn Lane in Pine Cove and bloodhounds were used to track from his car with no success, according to Parsons.
After six full days of searching in between inclement weather and searching eight to 10 hours per day, Prifogle was not located.
The Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU), as well as search and rescue volunteers from San Bernardino County, Orange County and San Diego County, were assisting in the search. In total, about 150 people searched during those six days.
Air support including drones and helicopters have been utilized, along with bloodhounds from RCSD, and
K-9s from the nonprofit and volunteer group Riverside County Search Dogs. These dogs are trained to signal on live or deceased humans.
“All of our searchers, including the search dogs, are equipped with GPS devices and at the end of each day we uploaded the information to a large database so we could see where there are pockets that hadn’t been covered, and areas that were covered,” Parsons stated.
RMRU also searched the entire length of San Jacinto River North Fork from Pine Cove to Hemet on foot, repelling over waterfalls.
At about 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, the search was called off for the time being.
“At this point, we have several days of storms coming in, so we’ve stopped searching,” Parsons stated. “If we find or get any other leads, we will ramp up and start searching again.”
As of the evening of Monday, March 16, Prifogle had not been located.