RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBSLA) — People in the Inland Empire came together Saturday to remember a search and rescue volunteer who died while looking for a missing hiker on Mount Baldy earlier this month.
Friends, loved ones and deputies from San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties gathered at a Rancho Cucamonga church to celebrate the life of Tim Staples.
Staples, 32, died Dec. 14 after getting separated from his partner during a search for Sree Mokkapati, a hiker who has been missing since Dec. 8. Staples was one of approximately 125 volunteers from 11 different counties on the mountain assisting with the search.
In addition to his nine years of service as a volunteer Search and Rescue team member, Staples was a social science teacher at Damien High School in La Verne.
Staples had recently married his wife Katie and was a beloved brother, son, uncle, nephew and friend.
The search was called off for the missing hiker following Staples’ death.