Remains Of Missing Joshua Tree Backpacker Found

The ruggedness of Joshua Tree National Park’s backcountry can be extremely challenging/NPS file

Experience isn’t always a trump card against the unknown or unexpected. Last May a 25-year-old man who was described as an experienced long-distance hiker and familiar with Joshua Tree National Park in California went missing. The other day remains that might be his were found. Official identification has yet to be made, along with cause of death.

What ties the remains to Trammell Evans is his backpack, which was found not far from the remains on January 25.

Evans failed to show up at the end of a six-day backpack in the park last May. The California man was dropped off at Black Rock Campground and planned to hike from Black Rock to Geology Tour Road, then back to Black Rock via the California Riding and Hiking Trail. His backpack was found off a trail in the Black Rock area, according to a park release issued Tuesday.

The park initiated a search and rescue for Evans on May 5, 2023, after he was reported as overdue from his trip. The search involved personnel from Joshua Tree National Park, Joshua Tree Search and Rescue, Bureau of Land Management, Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office, and California Highway Patrol Helicopter.

Upon discovery of the unidentified human remains, park rangers requested a response from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office and the Riverside County Coroner’s Bureau. The Coroner’s Bureau arrived at the scene and assumed the investigation. At this time, the identity of the deceased and the cause of death have not been determined. The investigation is ongoing.
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