MOUNT BALDY (CBSLA) – A large search operation was underway Monday for a man and woman who went missing while on a day hike Saturday in the Mount Baldy area in the San Gabriel Mountains.
Eric Desplinter, 33, of Chino Hills and Gabrielle Wallace, 31, of Rancho Cucamonga, were last seen at 10 a.m. Saturday in the area of Ice House Canyon and Cucamonga Peak, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. The two may have been headed to Cucamonga Peak. The area has steep terrain and is covered in several inches of snow.READ MORE: Trio Of 55-Gallon Drums Found Leaking Motor Oil In Redlands Citrus Grove
The two were supposed to return by 7 p.m. Saturday, and when they had not returned by 8 p.m., their friend contacted authorities, the sheriff’s department said. They are believed to have limited amounts of food and water.
Brenda Wallace, Gabrille’s mother, told CBS2 that Desplinter is Gabrielle’s boss. She said her daughter recently purchased all of her hiking gear for this trip with a large group of friends. She said the two were hiking with a group when they became separated and never made it back to the car.
“I know he wouldn’t leave her and she wouldn’t leave him,” Brenda Wallace said.READ MORE: LA Facing $550M Revenue Shortfall On Sharp Declines In Transient, Parking Occupancy Taxes
Desplinter is an experienced hiker, according to the sheriff’s department. He was last seen wearing a yellow jacket and green pants. Wallace was wearing a gray sweater and jeans.
“I thought maybe she tripped and broke her ankle or something,” Brenda speculated. “Maybe it slowed them down to a crawl and he’s trying to help her get down.”
An air and ground search is taking place involving multiple sheriff’s helicopters and several search and rescue teams from San Bernardino, Los Angeles and San Diego counties.
If the pair were to come out on their own overnight Monday, it would be an immense relief for their families who were waiting without sleep at a command post.MORE NEWS: Irv Cross, Former Rams Player And Broadcast Pioneer, Dies At 81
Anyone hiking in the area who sees them should call 911.