Missing person on Black Mountain truck trail, Riverside County

Curtis Guise

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I'm posting this here so more people can see it and will move it to whatever or look out later... My neighbor John Sturkie has been missing since January. There have been updates posted in the SoCal offroad recovery group on Facebook and at this point its not looking good. He has a 2015 Tundra that has been found on the trail. It was locked and no sign of him near it. I talked to John's wife last night and she said that the sheriffs dept have almost given up on any searching and this entire thing has been a disappointment since he was reported being stuck in January the day it happened. It sounds like authorities dropped the ball on this big time. Many people with search and rescue experience have replied wanting to help in the Facebook updates but the road has been washed out and downed trees and the snow made it difficult to get up there. And the sheriffs and search and rescue in the area told people not to go in the area,( I guess to not ruin any scent dogs could pick up). But their search efforts have been minimal. The guy that found the truck went up there on his own and has allot of experience on those trails. Anyway, now that there are photos of the truck and where it was found I thought I would post it here just to get some more views on this situation.

Jay Nicholson has been posting the FB updates and this is from his last one a couple days ago.
UPDATE: The man in the middle with the black Bennie and glasses is John (the man that’s been missing since January 5th) The three men also pictured are the ones that helped him get out the first time the truck got stuck but could not get it out the second time. This is the truck in question and it was found up on Black Mountain truck trail. As of now Riverside County sheriffs and Riverside mountain rescue have gone up twice and searched about a mile in each direction of where the truck was located and have not found anything. USFS also needs to fix the road. From this day forward they will not be doing any more searching unless they have an idea where he might be located. I have been speaking with a gentleman on a regular basis on what else we can do to try to find him. He is also the gentleman that found the truck. Black Mountain truck trail has a lot of damage from all the snow/rain and is impassable at a center point by truck or side by side. There are multiple trees that have fallen across the road so conditions are extremely dangerous out there. We are trying to figure out a good game plan for searching this area now because the snow has almost completely melted off. I will keep you updated on any further information down the road. Thanks again. Also if anyone is hiking up on the Pacific crest Trail and sees any type of clothing that matches what he’s wearing please notify authorities. He was also caring a black backpack with him

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fishd00d

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Dang thats a crazy story! Hope somehow they find him up there but thats a long time to be out in the open during the winter.
 

green787

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Sorry to say this, but the animals have scattered his bones.... He was a nature lover.... Died doing what he loves... RIP,,,,
 

jon coleman

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unless you are100% pos.you can get help, Always stay w- your vehicle.pray for the fam.& friends, lets hope for the best...
 

EMS702

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Saw this on the recovery page. I am adventurous but after the one time I got stuck alone in the desert I never go by myself anymore. Prayers for closure and peace for his family.
 

jon coleman

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i also got like 4-5? stuffed& stashed mre's in truck, after reading a ketchup in the glove box survival story.if anyone goes one mile off road you have Got to be prepare d.and if going solo, leave an itinerary of places& times.helps tremendously if lost or broke down.
 

OFFRD-JNKIE

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Back in January our jeep club was contacted about helping look for him however the weather was not co-operating and the snow was very deep making it very difficult to even get to where his truck was found.
I figured that he was found since we have not been contacted again. It's a bad deal for sure.
 

Pee Wee

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Jay Nicholson has been posting the FB updates and this is from his last one a couple days ago.
UPDATE: The man in the middle with the black Bennie and glasses is John (the man that’s been missing since January 5th) The three men also pictured are the ones that helped him get out the first time the truck got stuck but could not get it out the second time. This is the truck in question and it was found up on Black Mountain truck trail.


Has no bearing on how this tragic deal ends but what do you mean by the three men who helped him the first time?
 

Chainguide

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this could have made a difference I bet. Cheap insurance.
 

Curtis Guise

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Jay Nicholson has been posting the FB updates and this is from his last one a couple days ago.
UPDATE: The man in the middle with the black Bennie and glasses is John (the man that’s been missing since January 5th) The three men also pictured are the ones that helped him get out the first time the truck got stuck but could not get it out the second time. This is the truck in question and it was found up on Black Mountain truck trail.


Has no bearing on how this tragic deal ends but what do you mean by the three men who helped him the first time?

When John drove up that trail Jan 5th those 3 guys found him stuck and pulled him out. Later in the day they found him stuck again but couldn't get him out so they offered to give him a ride down the mountain. They wanted to get down before dark. John refused the help, I think because he didn't want to leave his truck. So when those 3 guys got back down and had cell service they called in to 911 saying a guy was stuck up there and wouldn't come back with them.
 

Curtis Guise

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They have a Facebook page and are organizing a search May 18th. They are hoping that people with tracking skills can help also.


From their post:
We are assembling a public search!

Saturday, May 18th we will begin an organized public search at 8:30 am off Black Mountain Truck Trail. Base camp will be at Fuller Ridge Campground. Please Bring as many people as you can! We want to find John!

We'll provide transportation for those who need it from the base of Black Mountain Truck Trail to Fuller Ridge Campground. Safety gear, lunch and water will be provided. Wear long pants, sleeves, hiking shoes, hats and sunscreen. You don't have to be a seasoned hiker to join in, but be aware this is at 6,500 foot elevation. 18 & older please. Be smart and know your limitations. We want your help, but we don't need anyone getting sick or hurt.

Just to be clear, this will not be a random search party. We've had many people come out and randomly hike the trail. For this event, participants will all begin at a central location. Small sections will be assigned as groups radiate from the central point to canvas as much ground as possible.

Up until now, we have not had a synchronized search. We hope by doing it this way, no stone will be left uncovered.

Email us if you plan to come so we can make sure we have enough preparations for those who will be joining us: johnsturkiemissing@gmail.com

Please share!
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Remains found in Mount San Jacinto State Park belong to missing Oceanside man
By CITY NEWS SERVICE
PUBLISHED: July 2, 2019 at 9:52 pm | UPDATED: July 2, 2019 at 10:00 pm

Sheriff’s deputies discovered the remains of an Oceanside man who was missing for nearly seven months, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced Tuesday.

John Sturkie, 55, was reported missing on Jan. 5, in a remote area of the Black Mountain Truck trail in Mount San Jacinto State Park, northeast of state Route 243. The area is southeast of Banning and east of Hemet.

Cellphone tower records obtained by the Oceanside Police Department in February indicated his last known location was somewhere in that area.

His truck was found in March, but he never turned up.

The Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team was conducting a search for Sturkie when it came upon human remains shortly before noon on Saturday, according to the department. Sturkie was positively identified by the Riverside County Coroner’s Bureau.

Foul play is not suspected, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
 
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NIKAL

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Remains found in Mount San Jacinto State Park belong to missing Oceanside man
By CITY NEWS SERVICE
PUBLISHED: July 2, 2019 at 9:52 pm | UPDATED: July 2, 2019 at 10:00 pm

Sheriff’s deputies discovered the remains of an Oceanside man who was missing for nearly seven months, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department announced Tuesday.

John Sturkie, 55, was reported missing on Jan. 5, in a remote area of the Black Mountain Truck trail in Mount San Jacinto State Park, northeast of state Route 243. The area is southeast of Banning and east of Hemet.

Cellphone tower records obtained by the Oceanside Police Department in February indicated his last known location was somewhere in that area.

His truck was found in March, but he never turned up.

The Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team was conducting a search for Sturkie when it came upon human remains shortly before noon on Saturday, according to the department. Sturkie was positively identified by the Riverside County Coroner’s Bureau.

Foul play is not suspected, according to the Sheriff’s Department.


Sad, but expected. I wonder how far he was found from his truck?

I recently read a story about a couple lost & stuck on a mountain fire road. After day two, they decided to to burn the spare tire to hopefully send up enough black smoke to get someone’s attention. Fortunately it worked as some hunters saw it and went to find the source.
 

JDDurfey

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Sad, but expected. I wonder how far he was found from his truck?

I recently read a story about a couple lost & stuck on a mountain fire road. After day two, they decided to to burn the spare tire to hopefully send up enough black smoke to get someone’s attention. Fortunately it worked as some hunters saw it and went to find the source.

Back in the early 2000s someone was lost in AZ and started a signal fire to attract attention of the helicopters that were reporting on a nearby forest fire. They got the attention they wanted, were rescued, and created an even more massive fire at the same time!

Wish this story had a happy ending.
 

MikeAdams

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Sucks.

A good lessoned learned with the harsh environment we all play in
 
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