San Bernardino Forest

Jared Negrete - Strange disappearances from U.S. Mountains

Jared Negrete, disappeared July 19th, 1991, Mt. San Gorgonio, San Bernardino National Forest, California

jared negrete disappearance

13-year-old, Jared Negrete, was a Boy Scout who was on his first overnight backpacking trip. He was last seen on Friday 19 July 1991 at about 6 p.m. when he fell behind his fellow Scouts on a hike to the summit of 11,500-foot Mt. San Gorgonio in San Bernardino National Forest, Southern California.

San Gorgonio Mountain, also known locally as Mount San Gorgonio, or Old Greyback, is the highest peak in Southern California and the Transverse Ranges at 11,503 feet (3,506 m). It is in the San Bernardino Mountains, 27 miles (43 km) east of the city of San Bernardino. It lies within the San Gorgonio Wilderness, part of the Sand to Snow National Monument managed by the San Bernardino National Forest.

Mt. San Gorgonio

The eighth-grader lived in El Monte, was 5 feet 2 inches tall and 150 pounds, was wearing green pants and a tan shirt and was carrying a two-quart canteen of water.

Another group of hikers spotted Jared straggling behind and notified the Scout troop leader at the mountain summit but the leader, an experienced hiker, said he would pick up Jared on the way down When the leader finally decided to descend the mountain, Jared was nowhere to be seen.

As soon as the troop leader realised that Jared had disappeared, he accompanied his five other Scouts back to the base camp and then hiked about five miles in the dark to get help.

Mt. San Gorgonio map location

San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, along with search and rescue teams from as far away as Sierra Madre and San Dimas, began searching a 130-square mile area of the San Gorgonio Wilderness, a rocky, tree-lined terrain.

Within 3 days their search was focused on a six-square mile area, where a footprint believed to match one of Jared's high-top tennis shoes was found. Searchers also discovered beef jerky and candy wrappers believed to have been dropped by the Scout and most importantly his camera was located. On the film roll were twelve pictures.

Jared negrete last picture

Most of the photos were landscape scenes apparently taken before Jared went missing. But the final picture on the roll of film was a photograph of the Scout's eyes and nose, taken with the aid of the camera's flash, possibly at night after he disappeared. Family members said it appeared Jared pointed his camera at his face and snapped the picture. It seemed possible that the boy had lost the camera while sliding down a portion of the mountainside.

At least 70 officers, some of whom were airlifted by helicopter into the forest and horseback riders as well as helicopters with infrared were deployed. Over the next two weeks as many as 3,000 people had logged 45,000 hours scouring 50 square miles of the San Bernardino National Forest from Angelus Oaks to Whitewater Canyon. 

But no further clues were found, Jared had vanished. What happened on that day in July 1991. Did he fall off the trail and slip down the mountainside? But why after an extensive search wasn't the body or remains found? Was he abducted? Despite the discovery of the camera and its pictures, Jared remains missing 26 years on.