UPLAND (CBSLA) — The Angeles National Forest Service has issued an emergency order to shut down the hiking trails of Mount Baldy until the search for a missing hiker concludes or until the end of the year.
That hiker, 52-year-old Sree Mokkapati, has been missing since Sunday when he got separated from his group.
“He’s my father, he raised me,” Shravan Mokkapati, the hiker’s son, said. “He’s more important to me than anybody in the world.”
The search for Mokkapati continued Wednesday despite challenges including a low number of rescue volunteers and rough ice and snow conditions.
“One of the patrol ships, while they were up there today, did see a set of single tracks,” Cindy Bachman, of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, said. “Unfortunately, I don’t have any good news about those tracks. They still have not located Mr. Mokkapati.”
Community members came out in force after the search concluded for the evening for a vigil in Upland to support the family and to ask that more volunteers show up in the days to come.
“I beg and I plead that we can have more certified Alpine Search and Rescue volunteers to show up and help find my dad,” the hiker’s son said.
The search is scheduled to resume Thursday morning at sunrise.