|Paradise Valley in Kings Canyon National Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The search for Conn, 53, lasted eight days, utilizing 56 personnel from multiple agencies, with 10 ground search teams, three dog teams, and five helicopters.
Conn was last seen by an outbound hiker when entering the rugged wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park Oct. 19. A snow storm dropped up to 12 inches of snow the night of Oct. 20. Conn was reported overdue to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department on the evening of Oct. 23, and the Sheriff’s Department confirmed his vehicle was still at the trailhead. On Oct. 24, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department notified the National Park Service of the missing hiker. Search operations began in Kings Canyon National Park on Oct. 24.
The search area covered a total of 48 square miles of terrain ranging in elevation from 8,000 to 14,000 feet. Nighttime temperatures dropped into the teens. Snowdrifts made the search by foot difficult and two searchers were evacuated by helicopter due to medical concerns related to the severe conditions.