Efforts proceed through nightfall Wednesday to find man missing since Sunday
Day Four ended in the search for a missing hiker from Ventura without finding him.
But officials said search-and-rescue teams were continuing their efforts through nightfall Wednesday with the help of search dogs and nighttime drones.
“There are no neKw developments,” Cmdr. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office told the News-Press. “We continued searching in the identifiable areas of probability” where Tim Sgrignoli, 29, might be found.
Volunteer search-and-rescue teams from Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Los Angeles and Orange counties, along with K-9 live scent and cadaver search dogs, helicopters and drones, have participated in the search for Mr. Sgrignoli, who’s been missing since Sunday from a trail near the Gaviota peak.
“Today was pretty hot so the use of K-9s was limited and sporadic,” he said.
About 35 personnel participated Wednesday, along with a few dogs. But more, fresher dogs were expected to be brought in Wednesday night to continue the search, which has been hampered by the excessive heat and rugged terrain around Trespass Trail near Gaviota peak, said Cmdr. Raney, North County Operations Division commander with the sheriff’s office.
Mr. Sgrignoli, an experienced hiker and outdoorsman, left his girlfriend near the Trespass Trail Sunday afternoon after she succumbed to the triple-digit heat. He gave her his water and cellphone and told her to call 9-1-1 if there were any problems while he left to find their car below so he could summon supplies and help.
He has not been seen since.
A Santa Barbara County Fire Department helicopter hoisted his girlfriend to safety and took her to Station 38, where she was treated for mild heat exhaustion. Her name has not been released because rescue personnel treated her for medical purposes.
But she and Mr. Sgrignoli’s family, along with their friends, have been at the scene daily, providing support for the search-and-rescue volunteers. “They’ve been very supportive,” Cmdr. Raney said. “We are in close contact with them. It’s been a great collaborative effort.”
He said Mr. Sgrignoli might have taken a shortcut back to the car and gotten lost, or suffered heat exhaustion, too, or fallen and injured himself.
Although he’s been missing for four days without water, Cmdr. Raney said search-and-rescue workers have not given up their hope of finding him. They’ve concentrated their search in the general area of Trespass Trail.
He said the areas being searched are based on information provided by Mr. Sgrignoli’s family in terms of his habits and behavior, the experience of veteran search-and-rescue teams and “incident clues” they have found on the trial.
“We narrow and expand areas as we go,” he said.
“We’ll keep searching for as long as there are areas left to search,” he said. ”It’s the premise that keeps all of us going.”
Cmdr. Raney praised the non-paid volunteers who make up the search-and-rescue teams for taking time out from work and their families to participate.