Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA – UPDATE – Mary Joanna Gomez from Mississippi was found alive and in stable condition by National Park Service personnel on the afternoon of October 28th and has been in contact with her family and will be reunited with them shortly. She was found off trail about 3.5 miles over rocky and steep terrain from her vehicle.
A California Air National Guard aircraft C-130 first located an SOS spelled out with rocks on the ground and later identified a person nearby. Ground searchers responded and were able to find Mrs. Gomez cold, thirsty and hungry, but in otherwise good health.
Mrs. Gomez was reported missing by her family after missing her work shift in the Bay Area on Friday, October 25th. Her last contact with family had been the day prior while visiting Kings Canyon National Park, when she stated her intention to visit Sequoia. Her vehicle was located on the night of October 26th which helped narrow down the search zone.
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The search for missing Mary Joanna Gomez, 56-year-old from Mississippi, continues with growing search teams and limited clues. Mrs. Gomez has been on assignment in the Bay Area as a traveling nurse, and arrived in Kings Canyon National Park on Wednesday, October 23rd on her day off. Her last communication with family was on October 24th when she text messaged her daughter with photos taken in different areas of Kings Canyon. She was expected back to work on October 25th, missed her shift, and her family reported her missing to the San Francisco Police Department.
National Park Service (NPS) staff place her in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park on the morning of Saturday, October 26th. That night, shortly before midnight, her vehicle was located along the Generals Highway near a trailhead by a park ranger. It had not been at that trailhead earlier in the day.
Multiple teams are actively searching the area surrounding her vehicle with search dogs, air craft and search teams on foot. Her husband and daughter arrived in Kings Canyon on Sunday, October 27th and are with NPS staff.
The investigation continues and all updates will be posted to the Inciweb site as it becomes available: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6655/.
If you have been in the parks since Wednesday, October 23rd, specifically in the Little Baldy area, and you think you may have seen Mrs. Gomez or her vehicle, please call the tip line at 888-677-2746.