YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (AP) — Rescue crews are scaling back their week-long search in Yosemite National Park for a Southern California man who went out on a day hike and never came back.

Park officials announced Thursday that rescue crews will now focus on a limited search in the area George Penca was last seen. Officials said park rangers have not found any clues to Penca’s whereabouts.

The 30-year-old Hawthorne man was last seen Friday as he hiked the Upper Yosemite Fall trail in Yosemite Valley with about 20 people from his church. When the church members finished their hike, Penca was not with them.

About 105 search and rescue personnel from around the state have participated in the search. Park officials say the trail that Penca disappeared on was popular and well-maintained.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Comments (3)
  1. Suicide says:

    Unfortunately i suspect this man was a jumper. Anyone who has hiked upper Yosemite falls knows that the trail is well defined and easy to find. A person would have to try to get lost. If you’re goIng to jump, at least leave a note so everyone knows and we do not expend great and futile efforts. I hope this is not the case but am pretty sure it is.

    Either way, god bless him and his family.

    1. Tracy says:

      I don’t think so. He was hiking with his church group, and that’s not a likely “jumper” situation. There is a dangerous spot, if you take a right off the trail, before turning up to the lower falls. There are bars there, but also a V shape in rocks could easily take you down. Further, 40 feet off the trail. fall, and hit your head, and you’re a gonner, although the decay would certainly smell and aid in finding the body. I think he took a mis-step somewhere along the trail.

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