9-year-old missing

Maverick

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from campground

HANNA FLAT: Mountain lion sightings at nearby campsites have authorities worried.

12:31 AM PDT on Sunday, August 1, 2004

By KARIN MARRIOTT and MELISSA EISELEIN / The Press-Enterprise

SAN BERNARDINO MOUNTAINS - Authorities were searching Saturday evening for a 9-year-old boy who disappeared in the morning from a mountain campground.

David Gonzales of Lake Elsinore was reported missing shortly after 8 a.m. after he went to fetch cookies from a van near his family's campsite at Hanna Flat campground, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Tricia Abbas.

"It wasn't very far away. ... Adults were in viewing distance from where he was last seen," Abbas said by phone.

The boy arrived at the campground Friday afternoon with his parents, Jose and Rosenda Gonzales, and two other families from their church, Abbas said. It was the second time the family had camped at Hanna Flat.

Hanna Flat, a family-oriented campground and favorite among off-roaders, is about two miles from Highway 38 along Rim of the World Drive near Fawnskin, a small community on the north side of Big Bear Lake.

The boy hiked with others on trails near the campsite Friday, Abbas said.

"He was very fascinated with some of the rock outcroppings," she said.

Saturday morning, Rosenda Gonzales and David went for water near their campsite. David asked to get cookies out of the family's van. His mother gave him the keys, but no one saw him afterward. The cookies were in the van and the keys are missing, Abbas said. No other campers saw the boy. Officials do not suspect foul play.

Camp host Guy Higbee said he came out of his trailer and discovered the boy was missing.

"I walked out and I saw people crying. As soon as I found out what happened, I made one quick loop, then went and notified my manager," he said. San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies arrived before 9 a.m. to take the report, officials said.

Three mounted posse teams and a search-and-rescue team with a dog from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, a helicopter, Rim of the World and Big Bear Search and Rescue volunteers, and U.S. Forest Service officials joined in the search.

They scoured the area, including trails the boy hiked and a drainage culvert, Abbas said. By 4 p.m., searchers discovered a shoe print, but authorities could not confirm whether it was from the boy.

Officials were concerned about two mountain-lion sightings reported at nearby campgrounds, Abbas said.

David, who is small for his age, is 3 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 52 pounds, Abbas said. He has black hair and brown eyes and is missing one tooth on the side or back of his mouth.

The boy was wearing a blue T-shirt with a motorcycle design, gray sweat pants and white Nike shoes. He speaks mostly Spanish and has a speech impediment, Abbas said.

Hanna Flat is near Camp Whittle, a YMCA-run campground where rescuers were setting up a command center, Abbas said.

Rescuers planned to continue searching through the night and would search today if David has not been found, authorities said.

Reach Karin Marriott at (951) 846-2303 or kmarriott@pe.com and Melissa Eiselein at (951) 567-2409 or meiselein@pe.com
 

VHRAM

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my heart goes out to the family , hopefully this can have a nice ending.
 

BDB

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One update that I found on this story:

News Story

New update Possible Break in the Search for a Missing Boy California

BIG BEAR LAKE — The search for 9-year-old David Gonzales has been going on since he disappeared from the Hanna Flat campground north of Big Bear Lake. Now some tracks have been spotted on Gray's Peak, just southwest of the campground where the boy went missing.


All along, authorities have believed that 9-year-old David Gonzales wandered away from the campsite and got lost in the woods.

The discovery of footprints in an area southwest of the campground earlier this morning is the first big break searchers have had. Search crews are focusing on an area known as Gray's Peak, using ground crews as well as air support. There are one hundred sheriff's deputies and volunteers from several counties involved in the effort.

Witnesses told the family a large beige truck was seen racing away from the area at about the same time, but authorities said they don't suspect foul play.

David was last seen at the campground Saturday morning when he left his family's campsite to get cookies from their truck, which was parked nearby.

A couple of campers have told investigators they saw him walking on a road in the direction of the woods.

Of course, the big concern now is what kind of condition David may be in at this point. He has had no food or water for three days.

Team Amber Alert news Hope This Has A Good Ending.
 

BDB

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I feel for the family and they have my best wishes but I would be very suprised to see the boy found in good condition after this length of time. I sure hope to hear a happy ending to this story soon
 

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