Assisting families of
missing hikers.


Mission Statement

With safety and compassion as our core principles, the Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation provides assistance to families of missing hikers, connects them to vetted resources, facilitates searches on their behalf once official efforts have been suspended, and supports initiatives to prevent future missing hiker cases.

Not knowing is a loved one's worst nightmare.

When a loved one goes missing, you’ll try anything to find them, even after the authorities stop looking. But how do you know what to do and who to trust? When the missing person is a hiker, especially if they disappeared far from home, there is so much to do and it is all so overwhelming. The Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation can help.

"You never forget a person who came to you with a torch in the dark" - M.Rose

Our diverse team bring years of experience together to help families of missing hikers navigate through an extremely difficult time. We connect families to vetted search resources, provide funding when possible and help organize volunteer search efforts. We also provide advice on working with the authorities, the press, and social media campaigns and offer investigative and other assistance free of charge to the families of the missing.

Prevention And Hiker Safety Are High Priorities Of Our Foundation.

The Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation supports a variety of Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) efforts. This includes educational programs to prevent hikers from becoming lost, advice on what to do when lost or injured in the wilderness, providing safety information on trails, and donating GPS devices each year in the name of a missing hiker.

“Powerlessness is an excruciating pain;
it is torture insurmountable.”

— Richelle E. Goodrich

The Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation

is named in honor of

Kris Fowler: Missing

“Sherpa” was last seen on Oct. 12, 2016, near White Pass in the Washington wilderness.

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Kris Fowler​

Last known picture taken of Kris

Last known picture taken of Kris


Kris Fowler was completing his NOBO thru-hike in Washington. On October 12, 2016, he was dropped off near the trailhead at White Pass. His last cell phone ping was in that area around 5 p.m. Considerable amounts of snow and rain were expected over the next few days. The authorities and volunteers have diligently searched much of the trail between White Pass and the Canadian Border. Yet Kris Fowler is still missing.


Age: 34. Last Seen: October 12, 2016. LKP: Mile 2294 (White Pass/Packwood, Washington)

Sally Fowler at White Pass Trailhead PCT Washington

Sally Fowler at White Pass Trailhead PCT Washington

Kris Fowler was born in 1982 in Norfolk, Virginia to Sue (Sattem) and Mike Fowler. Mike was stationed there in the Navy. They moved back to the Dayton, Ohio, area when Kris was about two. Kris was a happy young man that made friends easily, even from an early age. His parents later divorced but still raised him together. Kris’s Mom sadly passed away when Kris was 12. His Dad married Sally Guyton the following year, and they moved to Beavercreek, Ohio, where Kris went to school starting in the 7th Grade. Although Mike and Sally were no longer married, they stayed friends and both had a close relationship with Kris.  Kris stayed close with his Mom’s family, his Dad’s family and Sally’s family, too. He was loved by many.

Kris was a natural athlete. Just about anything he set out to do, he did it well. Kris never played on a football team, but one day when he was 12, he came home and wanted to go compete in the local Punt Pass and Kick competition.  He did and won in his age group two years in a row, and even went as far as the semifinals at the Cincinnati Bengals stadium. This was incredible because he never played football! He was just a natural athlete!

Kris loved the outdoors. He and his family camped and hiked whenever possible. Kris also loved photography, so the two went hand in hand. Kris’s love for camping and hiking continued as an adult, where he frequently would seek out new places to hike and photograph. He would travel outside of Ohio to find more challenging places to hike as well. In 2000, he graduated from Beavercreek High School where he played baseball all through school and was a very skilled pitcher. He played ball with the same group of guys all through school and ended up going to Wright State College with several of them. In College, along with some high school friends, he joined and was active in the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. He often had full-time jobs all through college and graduated in 2006 with a B.S. in Marketing. He made many friends along the way and stayed in touch with many of them after college.

Kris was very easy to be around and people liked him. He was laid back and intense at the same time! He had a great sense of humor, he loved to travel, loved the outdoors and loved to have fun. Kris got married in 2008 and moved to Cincinnati. He had a good marriage for many years, but sadly they divorced in 2015. Kris had a job with a logistics company and they moved his job to Florida, but the company was not stable. He left the company in 2015 and moved in with his Dad in Beavercreek, Ohio, where he was trying to decide what he wanted to do for work. An opportunity came up for him to do some hotel construction in Wyoming and make good money with no expenses, so he moved to Wyoming in February 2016.

Kris loved the outdoors and thought of this as a way to see a different part of the country and do more hiking. Over the years Kris had become an avid Disc golf player where he traveled to different states to play in tournaments. Once again, he made many friends and once again, he was very good at this sport, too. He made friends with a man named Colin Hurley who lived in Colorado. Even when Kris was married, he would visit Colin and they would go on hiking trips. Colin and Kris talked about doing the Pacific Crest Trail one day.

In 2016 Colin was preparing for the PCT. Kris decided that he had very few bills, a little money in the bank, and no permanent job to disrupt, so that was the time to do it. Kris left Wyoming at the end of March, moved to Colorado to stay with Colin, and started training and preparing for the PCT. I didn’t even know what that was! Kris told both his Dad and I about his plans, and once we saw how prepared he was, we supported him on his new adventure although we were nervous.

“He made a deal with his parents to check in every two weeks and he kept to that plan the entire trip.”

Kris and Colin set out on their journey on May 8, 2016. It was Mother’s Day. He sent me a text and picture saying, ” Happy Mother’s Day from the PCT. I love you,” and the journey began. Kris had mailed himself over 20 packages of food and supplies to locations along the trail. He sent his Dad and me a list of all of the locations in case we also wanted to send him packages and so that we could see his journey.

Soon into the hike Colin and Kris started hiking alone, which is normal, as each one had their own pace. They stayed in touch along the way. Kris had a little slower pace, and as an amateur photographer, he was spending a little longer in some areas, hiking off trail to take pictures of things he thought no one had seen or photographed before. As in all stages of his life, he was making friends and leaving lasting impressions along the way. Kris was taking longer on his journey than he planned because of these side trips and “stopping to smell the roses” along the way.

He made a deal with his parents to check in every two weeks and he kept to that plan the entire trip. Kris was also frequently in touch with some of his friends and cousins. Kris last spoke to his Stepmom on the phone on September 30, 2016, where he said he was doing good other than being tired. He told her he still planned on making it to Canada.

Two weeks later we had not heard from Kris and his dad grew a little worried. I reached out to a lady friend Kris had been hiking with, and although she had left the trail the first of October, she was still in touch with Kris. She said he had texted her on Oct 12. Kris told his friend that he was having phone trouble and was trying to get a new charger. Once we learned that we felt better since he had spoken to someone. After another week went by, we started worrying more.

Mike and I started contacting the authorities and all of the places where Kris had mailed his packages. By Oct 23, it was becoming clear Kris was missing, and now we had to convince authorities of that as well. Not easy to do from Ohio to Washington State. By Oct 31, after much self detective work, authorities agreed to list Kris as missing and began searching.  After a five county, two-week long search, the official search ended due to inclement weather. I even traveled to Washington with my boyfriend, John, and my brother, Rick, and spent 11 days following leads and tracing Kris’s last footsteps.  Still no Kris.  Sadly, Mike passed away in 2017, due to cancer, without ever knowing what happened to Kris. There have been many searches over the past 3 1/2 years, and so many amazing people volunteering to help find any sign of Kris, but nothing has been found yet.

Many of the 2016 PCT hikers that hiked with Kris said he was a strong hiker. He often liked to take his time and maybe not cover as many miles in one day as some hikers do, but if he wanted to, he could do 25 miles a day. One hiker even stated that they had never seen anyone plow through the snow as fast as Kris did and they could not keep up with him. By the time any hiker gets to Washington State, they are skilled at hiking. Kris was having the time of his life. He was already making plans to get a job to save money so that he could do another through hike the following year. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.

Sally Fowler

Sally with two PCT thru-hikers who volunteered to help find Kris

Sally with two PCT thru-hikers who volunteered to help find Kris

David O’Sullivan: Missing

David disappeared while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in California in 2017. He was last seen in Idyllwild near the San Jacinto Mountains.

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David O’Sullivan​

Still Missing since April 7, 2017

Still Missing since April 7, 2017



Age: 25. Last Seen: April 07, 2017. LKP: Idyllwild Inn, Idyllwild, California

David was thru-hiking NOBO on the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. On April 6, 2017 he sent an email to his family from an Idyllwild library. O’Sullivan, who is from Ireland, intended to hike north into the San Jacinto Mountains the next day. He has not been seen since. There are several trails he could have taken to access the PCT from Idyllwild. We do not know which trail David took.

Cathy Tarr met with Con and Carmel O’Sullivan in November 2017. Since then Tarr has become the family advocate in the U.S. She pursues answers for the O’Sullivans using advanced aerial photography and drone image searching. She has organized many volunteer on-the-ground search efforts as well. We continue to look for David.

More about David by Carmel O’Sullivan

David was born on August 29, 1991 in Cork, Ireland. He was the second grandchild born to our family, preceded by his brother, Niall, nearly four years earlier. He and his brother were doted on by his grandparents and by their many Aunts and Uncles. It would be many years before more grandchildren arrived in Ireland to join them. They had one cousin born in London (in 1992) called Jeremy who became very close to David and who remained a constant in his life until David’s disappearance in 2017. 

David on trail.

David on trail.

David attended Saleen National School where many years ago my sister, brother, and I also attended. It was a small school (roll call 90) where he made friends for life. Some of these went on to become his best friends and who called regularly to our house over the years. While at national school he developed an interest in amateur drama and graced the stage on many occasions often bringing the house down with his acting. David went onto Secondary school in our local town attending Christian Brothers School. He was a good student excelling in English and Geography. He also did stand up comedy every year for the Christmas party and a few times he gave performances for local charity fund raisers. While at this school he did a sponsored head shave for Mary Mount, our local Hospice

David had a great interest in Media and did a one-year degree course in Media Studies. He then went to University College Cork to study where he received his Honors Degree in English and Philosophy. While attending UCC he did a weekly radio program and was interested in pursuing this line of work after gaining more life experience and seeing something of the world. He was an avid reader and his bedroom is lined with hundreds of books. He never came home from a shopping trip without some new author under his arm. His reading interests were varied and he could talk at length about his chosen subject. 


Volunteer Searchers with the Irish Outreach in San Diego

Volunteer Searchers with the Irish Outreach in San Diego

David’s interests included cycling, running, hiking, films, reading, drama and board games. Politics became an interest in his late teens. As a younger child, he did horse riding and obtained his black belt in Karate at the age of sixteen. He was a happy little boy, full of fun, and he had a great laugh.

“David liked to hike and he and his friends often went off on day trips to our local mountain hiking.”

— Carmel O’Sullivan

While he was attending University he got a weekend job in a local garage, and after finishing College, he stayed on in a full-time capacity to save some money for travelling and to buy a car. He had always liked to hike and he and his friends often went off on day trips to our local mountain hiking. On a few occasions he went with his dad and some friends.

Volunteer drone and ground searchers

Volunteer drone and ground searchers

David had travelled on family holidays to England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Tunisia, Canary Islands and New York. When he got older, he went on sightseeing trips with Con to Scotland, London and Washington.  He travelled to South Korea to visit Niall, and went to Thailand to visit Jeremy before embarking on his journey to hike the PCT.

Like I said, he was an avid reader, and some years ago he read the book by Cheryl Strayed about her journey on the PCT, and he decided to attempt it in 2017. He prepared as much as possible in our locality and set off full of enthusiasm, and the rest you know. 

David is a much loved member of our family and is greatly missed every day. Our world turned upside down in 2017 and will never again be the same. We have a new normal now and we would give anything to find David and know what happened to him on that fateful day in April 2017. We miss and love him.

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