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Missing Hiker Found After Authorities Asked Hikers for Help Identifying His Location in Photo Sent to Friend

Ashley Boucher
·2-min read

  Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Rene Compean     

A California man who went missing Monday evening while on a hike in the San Gabriel Mountains has been found. 

Rene Compean, 45, was found near the Chilao Campgrounds on Tuesday afternoon, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department told ABC 7 and NBC Los Angeles.

Compean was reportedly airlifted out, was in good condition and will not need to be hospitalized, ABC 7 reported. 

The rescue came just hours after the Sheriff's department asked "avid hikers" to help identify the area Compean had been when he sent his friend a photo during his trek on Monday. 

He later texted his friend shortly before 6 p.m. saying that he was lost and that his phone was dying, prompting authorities to utilize the photo in the search for Compean. It was not clear if the photo ended up leading to his rescue or not.  

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Compean had been hiking in the Mount Waterman area of the mountain range, which is northeast of Los Angeles. The photo he texted his friend showed his legs, which were covered in dirt, and a canyon below where he was sitting. 

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Authorities, who earlier had found Compean's car near the Buckhorn campground and trailhead, said that the dirt on his legs could have "possibly" been "from a burn area on the mountain." It was unclear on which trail Compean had been hiking. 

"Are You an Avid Hiker in the Mount Waterman Area?" the Sheriff's department said in a call for help on Facebook Tuesday morning. "#LASD Search and Rescue (SAR) Teams need your help locating a #missing hiker. His car was found near Buckhorn Campground/Trailhead. It is unknown which trail he took from there." 

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"Crescenta Valley Station received a call of a missing hiker from Angeles Crest Highway, Monday, April 12, 2021 at approximately 6:00 p.m. The caller stated his friend (male Hispanic 45yrs old) text advising he was lost and his cell phone was dying," the post continued. 

"The missing hiker sent this picture to his friend earlier in the hike. The hikers legs (in the picture) look dirty possibly from a burn area on the mountain. If you recognize the area pictured below, please call us 818-248-3464."