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HomeNewsRescue Team Recovers Missing California Hiker’s Body From Mt. Baldy

Rescue Team Recovers Missing California Hiker’s Body From Mt. Baldy

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A picture of hiker Lifei Huang
Source: KTLA/X

A team of rescuers have found the body of a woman who went missing on Mount Baldy last weekend. Extreme weather conditions made the mountain inaccessible until a few days ago. 

The woman in question is 22-year-old Lifei Huang, who went missing on February 4. On February 10, around 1535 hr local time, a civilian flying a drone around Mount Baldy reached out to the US Forestry Department about something they saw from the aerial footage. It was an immobile person. 

In turn, the US Forestry Department contacted local Sheriffs to inform them of the find. Sheriff Dispatch immediately sent signals to their aviation crew and search and rescue personnel, who tried to triangulate on the coordinates provided by the Forestry Department. 

Unfortunately, the Sheriff’s aviation crew could not conduct a thorough aerial search as the high wind was not working in their favor. Likewise, Mount Baldy had just experienced some heavy snowfall at the time, leaving the rescuers on foot at the risk of an avalanche. So, the men decided to find a safe haven in the area and maintained the scene over the night. 

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Early in the morning of February 11, as early as 0745 hr, a Sheriff’s air rescue chopper lowered medics to the scene and found the lifeless body of Huang. The helicopter then evacuated the medics and Huang off the mountain. 

After eventually finding Huang, Deputies have issued an advisory for citizens not to put themselves in any situation that would require the dispatch of a rescue team. Recent weather forecasts predict extreme snowfall and windstorms in some parts of the country. 

An official release from the San Bernardino County Sheriff reads, “(we) strongly urge everyone to stay away and refrain from mountain activities during this inclement weather. The weather has effectively buried the mountain (Baldy) in snow and it is highly likely hikers will get into trouble.” 

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Huang was a resident of El Monte. She decided to go for a hike on the afternoon of Sunday, February 4, around 2 pm. The last time anyone heard from her was around 4 pm that same day. However, a call was put through to the Fontana Sheriff’s Station around 11:14 pm when Huang did not show up. 

About three hours later, around 2:30 am on Monday, February 5, members of the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue launched a search through the night but did not find the missing woman.

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The search continued on the following day, and in heavy snowfall, so much so that the crew had to pull off the search at a point. Between February 6 and the day a drone-flying citizen found Huang’s body, the weather remained harsh. 

Baldy Mountain was originally called Mt. San Antonio. However, a lack of trees around the mountain’s bowl has earned it the ‘baldy’ moniker, as it looks like a bald head when seen from LA. It is the second highest point in Arizona, standing at a majestic 11,403 feet at the summit. 

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