GRAND TERRACE (CBSLA.com) — Authorities are looking for a man who has been stalking female hikers on a popular trail in San Bernardino County.
A woman reported on Saturday that a man was stalking her while she was on the Blue Mountain Trail, which starts at Westwood Street and Honey Hill Drive in Grand Terrace.
The suspect is described as a man in his 40s with a dark complexion, a light-medium build and short dark hair. He drives a white van. The stalker used saliva to draw hearts on the victims’ car windows and left bodily fluids on the vehicle of one of the victims, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department press release.
“One of the friends sent me and email and told me about what had been going on,” said Hiker Judy Smith. “Anna sent me an email. She says ‘Did you read that? I don’t know if I want to go.’ And I said: ‘We go in a group. So it doesn’t really matter,’” Smith said.
“I’ve never been fearful before but hearing something like this, definitely. My nieces are young girls, and they don’t want to walk. They want to go home,” hiker Michelle Ybarra said.
Betsy Ramirez came to hike alone but turned around after being warned about the stalker. “It’s weird. I thought this was the safest. It’s like locals. I’m like ok. You know. There’s always people around. So I didn’t think it was like a big deal,” Ramirez said.
Investigators are using DNA to see if there is a connection to an arrest last year, when a man was accused of harassing a woman by leaving flowers and notes on her car.
Anyone with any information about the stalker is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department Central Station at (909) 387-3545.
Deputies are advising hikers to be aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement immediately.