Nearly Five Days After Two Hikers Went Missing, Rescuers Spot Two Pairs of Footprints

After the pair never returned, a friend contacted authorities. Nearly five days later, the massive air and ground search has come to an end.


Eric Desplinter and Gabrielle Wallace got the nation’s attention with their disappearance. These two hikers’ regular hiking turned out to be very dangerous since their status of missing persons alerted the San Bernardino County.

Eric, 33 and Gabrielle, 31, were supposed to be back home at 7 p.m. on April 6, but they were last seen at 10 a.m. that morning. This alerted the authorities and the search began.

The snowy California mountains could have been deadly for these two hikers. Fortunately, the rescue mission was initiated on time. In Cucamonga Canyon the rescuers spotted two sets of footprints and these brought hopes to everyone who were afraid for the hikers’ safety.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office announced that the footprints helped them to find the hikers. Eric and Gabrielle were found on April 10. They were perfectly healthy and safe. They were found next to a campfire they have built.

With limited food and water supplies, the hikers managed to endure the harsh conditions. They divided the food equally and used it rationally. Fortunately, they managed to build a camp-fire which contributed to their safety.

The moment of discovery was a moment of happiness for the rescuers and the hikers. Eric and Gabrielle were again safe and united with their families.

For KCBS, Eric says:

“We just lost the trail. We had a little bit of a slip going to the peak of Cucamonga Peak and decided we wouldn’t go back up the ice and snow, so we tried to descend through a valley, but that valley was more treacherous than we thought.”

They don’t know to to thank all the rescuers. Their efforts saved these two hikers’ lives. Eric adds:

“We’re both perfectly fine, no serious injuries. Thank you to all the volunteers that were helping look for us, we’re very grateful to be found tonight. I’m ready to get to bed and get some rest.”

The authorities on the other hand say that it’s a real miracle that these two hikers are perfectly healthy, especially having in mind the limited food supplies.

The County Sheriff’s Office announced:

“Volunteers are a real blessing to our agencies, providing thousands of hours giving back to make our communities better and stronger. This is a perfect example of their commitment.”