Search continues for hiker missing for 9 days in Sequoia National Park

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Matt Thoke, 43, of Newport Beach, was last seen on Wednesday, July 21 while hiking at Sequoia National Park.

Matt Thoke, 43, of Newport Beach, was last seen on Wednesday, July 21 while hiking at Sequoia National Park.

The search continues for an Orange County man who has been missing for nine days after he went hiking at Sequoia National Park.

Matt Thoke, 43, of Newport Beach, was last seen on Wednesday, July 21, at about 1 p.m. as he was leaving the High Sierra Trail approximately three miles east of the Crescent Meadow trailhead, just east of Panther Creek, a release from the park stated.

He had separated from his group during a multi-day wilderness trip and was hiking from Bearpaw to Crescent Meadow when he walked off trail, downhill to the south, without his pack, the release said.

“We are very optimistic and hopeful that the NPS will bring Matt Thoke home,” Lisa Thoke, wife of Matt Thoke said. “We appreciate the passion, care, and strategy they have for this mission.”

An intensive search effort launched on the afternoon of July 21 with search personnel in the field daily, including:

  • Ground Search and Rescue Teams
  • Dog Search Teams
  • Aerial Searches
  • Trail Containment and Investigation
  • Investigative Efforts

Thoke is 6 feet tall, 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing an orange t-shirt, blue shorts, and pink hat.

“I truly believe his love for life and people are what’s keeping him going strong and alive. He is extraordinarily loved, not just by me, but by hundreds of family members and friends and everyone he’s touched throughout his life and all over the world. We can’t wait to get him back into our arms, so he continues to bring joy and impact others positively as he’s always done,” his wife said.

The search efforts are being led by Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks with the help of Tulare and Fresno County Sherriff’s Offices, Yosemite National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, California National Guard, California Office of Emergency Services and U.S. Forest Service.

Anyone who may have been in this area anytime after July 21 is urged to contact Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Dispatch at 888-677-2746 or seki_dispatch@nps.gov.

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