Laura Atencio Re: Rosario Garcia

I just want to share what this organization has done for me and my family. My mother-in-law went missing July 7th 2020. Her car was found two days later in the Idllywild mountains near hiking trails. It was found abandoned because she had actually hit a rock and teeter tottered on it. None of us could figure out whether she actually drove the car up, but we knew there was enough stuff in the car to say that it wasn’t stolen. She was a 73-year-old woman who walked with assistance and had a bad hip. The local sheriff’s department was contacted and we were told that they searched not only with bloodhounds but that a rescue team had looked for her also with the help of helicopters, police and volunteers. Even with all these search efforts, they did not find her. Friends and family hiked the trails screaming for her as we searched but we were not able to find any trace of her. Every month, an editor and writer for a newspaper in idyllwild would write a story about Rosario and other hikers that were missing in the area. It just so happened that Cathy Tarr read this article and thankfully something caught her attention. She got a hold of her crew of the Fowler O’Sullivan Foundation and was able to find Rosario in three days! We waited 7 months with no answers, everyday wondering, everyday crying, everyday wishing. Wishing for a little spark of hope to find our loved one. It was the hardest thing we’ve ever gone through. Thanks to Cathy Tarr and the Fowler O’Sullivan Foundation, my mother-in-law was found within 3 days. It wasn’t the ending we wanted but it was the closure we needed. We are very lucky that the Foundation took it upon themselves to look for her, and buy the grace of God, they found her and we were able to lay her to rest. I pray that anyone in a similar situation has the opportunity for closure like we did. We owe this Foundation so much and will never forget them. We LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! REST IN PEACE ROSARIO “CHATA” GARCIA

Beth Harris

I don't know how else to share my heartbreaking news… My family received news a few days ago about the disappearance of my youngest brother. With the help of the Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation my baby brother Brian Harris’ remains have now been located in the aptly named Dead Mountains Wilderness, near Needles, CA. I will forever miss this guy 🥺😭 and love him always. Wish I could have hugged him one last time. -Beth Harris, Brian's sister

Karin Shinn

From Karin Shinn, Class of 2022PCT hiker

Greetings! I am a member of the PCT class of 2022. While hiking NB in the Trinity National Forest, I decided to take a shortcut to a water source that was marked as a forest service road on FarOut. Subsequently, this road became overgrown. In an attempt to retrace my steps, I ended up in a gulley surrounded by a heavily wooded & bushy steep incline in both directions. My GPS on FarOut showed my blue dot to be spinning! This, coupled with the fact that this ravine prevented me from seeing the actual direction of the sun, I became disoriented. After two hours of continuous attempts to break thru brush & climb up the incline (all the while holding my trekking poles as well as my phone for guidance), I realized I was lost.

I had watched a live presentation on the FB Class of 2022 Planning Page presented by this Foundation. I recall the stories of missing hikers coupled with the comments ” if only they had had a Garmin….” I decided to invest in this device for my hike, even though it involved a monthly subscription.
So at about 4 pm PST I hit the SOS button. I got a rapid return text from the main center asking if I was hurt, needed evacuation, food, water, etc…I said merely that I was lost. Otherwise, everything was OK. Feeling really stupid, I knew I was very close to the trail but just could not find it.
After texts back & forth from the local agency, at 6 pm a helicopter was circling directly overhead. I had to come out from under the tree I was resting under & go partially up the steep bank & wave the bright yellow underside of my Z-Lite mat so they could locate me.
They guided me out of the ravine up to the trail via a loudspeaker while circling overhead. It was a lot of hard work for me. But at least I was expending energy that would lead me back on trail, instead of continuing to get further lost!
It didn’t take long, & finally I was back on solid ground! I went a bit further to set camp when I heard someone calling me. The copter had landed a mile away in a field and the deputies had walked down the trail to make sure I was OK. I felt really dumb but they assured me I did the right thing, even topping off my water, leaving me with electrolyte packs & two protein bars.

I was embarrassed & didn’t tell my daughters until I returned off trail. After hearing my story, my 28 year old looked me straight in the eye & seriously said “Mom, I am so glad you pressed that button. I don’t know what I would have done if you just disappeared!”
So to the Fowler O’Sullivan Foundation, thank you so much for making it your mission not only to locate missing hikers, but also for insisting that every hiker get a Garmin In Reach. I realize now that I could very well have been the 2022 PCT hiker that went mysteriously missing!