Found Deceased CA - Paul Miller, 51, Canadian missing in Joshua Tree National Park, San Bernardino Co., 13 Jul 2018

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by cybervampira, Jul 16, 2018.

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  1. AzPistonsGirl

    AzPistonsGirl Well-Known Member

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    I'm in AZ and we've had record heat the last few days - 116 degrees - but we will drop down to about 107-109 over the weekend so they are calling that a break here. As if...

    Paul's been missing for 13 days.
     


  2. Suglo

    Suglo Well-Known Member

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    I’ve been moaning about our 103 weather in California. Think I’ll shut up now before the universe decides to punish me even more. I don’t think Paul will be found until the Fall like Nguyen and Orbeso last year. :(
     
  3. Snoopster

    Snoopster Well-Known Member

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    :eek:

    (The only time I was in AZ it was 105, and I thought it was "kind of hot". Just sayin. I live in a place that gets super humid in the summer, so it didn't feel worse, although it was 'clear' (i.e. your body quickly told you) that it was a mistake to stand out in the sun. )
     
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  4. crhedBngr

    crhedBngr Attempting to Keep Calm and Carry On.

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    Still no sign of Paul?
     
  5. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, this is not a "no news is good news" type of thing. I do hope the weather breaks enough for searchers to be able to get out there, though one poster earlier said it might not be for a while, maybe fall. Let's hope not!
     
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  6. Purplepixii

    Purplepixii Well-Known Member

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    What should the weather like today? Am wondering whether other hikers might be out over the weekend & maybe spot something (I hope!)
     
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  7. jash

    jash Well-Known Member

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    I wish more details were provided regarding what he was wearing. The missing poster only said "Likely wearing: Dark shorts, hiking boots, and a grey/black camelback style of pack."

    What about his shirt? Hopefully it's a colour that stands out from the desert landscape. Did he have a hat on? Sunglasses?
     
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  8. Eleven_11

    Eleven_11 Well-Known Member

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    Right now at 8am it’s 86 and the high today will be 105. Hot but I think it should be bearable if they go out today.
     
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  9. crhedBngr

    crhedBngr Attempting to Keep Calm and Carry On.

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    Especially is there is a breeze. I've walked in extremely hot weather, and it is bearable with a breeze.
     
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  10. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels Amateur speculations and opinion only

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    I always try to discipline my mind to stay focused on the statistical probabilities, as the majority of these cases end up concluding according to said probabilities.

    However, in this case, we have a parked car with six (?) dog teams who did not pick up any scent of the missing at all. (If I have that right). That is most definitely a red flag.
    Then, we have the wife of the missing heading home within a relatively short period after Mr. Miller goes missing. Perhaps there were pressing reasons why Mrs. Miller had to go home, but in isolation, that seems like a flag as well.

    So, I'm conflicted on this one. Is he in ravine and can't be seen? Did he disappear on his own volition? Was Mr. Miller murdered and this is some elaborate deflection scheme?

    I am going to have to follow my own rule, and follow the most likely. Paul Miller went off trail, perished, and has yet to be found. It's a large area, and it's very difficult to find people outdoors. Perhaps the heat effected the dogs ability to track scent, but one would think it would be the opposite?

    Let's pray that Mr. Miller took a voluntary "time out" and will be found alive soon. It is most likely, however, that he will be found off trail.

    All amateur speculation and opinion.
     
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  11. Laughing

    Laughing Rarely Speechless

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    Wow, rosesfromangels, I didn't notice this:

    However, in this case, we have a parked car with six (?) dog teams who did not pick up any scent of the missing at all. (If I have that right). That is most definitely a red flag.
    Then, we have the wife of the missing heading home within a relatively short period after Mr. Miller goes missing. Perhaps there were pressing reasons why Mrs. Miller had to go home, but in isolation, that seems like a flag as well.

    Did anyone happen to try tracking Mrs. Miller from the parked car???

    Just askin', YMMV
     
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  12. Neil_witness

    Neil_witness Member

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    I was the last person to see Paul alive.

    I was interviewed by park personnel on Saturday 14, the day after he went missing. I’d seen one of the posters describing his disappearance and called in from near the park.

    I’m posting this because there’s a lot of junk been written here. He died out there. And his friends and family might be reading this.

    I did the hike that morning to 49 palms. I started out from the trailhead about 7.30 am and was at the palms at 8.30. I started back at 8.40. The hike both ways is up to a ridge at half way and then down the other side. Going back, I went about 2/3 of the way up to the ridge and then stopped for 2 or 3 minutes in the shade from a large boulder next to the trail. I was there not earlier than 9am and not later than 9.15am.

    Paul came round the bend from the ridge and down the trail towards me. I had him in sight for maybe 10 or 20 seconds. As he went past me I said Hi, he said Hi, and he carried straight on.

    He looked in OK shape - hot but nothing out of the ordinary. Hat plus backpack. Doing a good pace. I was surprised he didn’t stop maybe for a few seconds to chat - this was the only shade on the trail and a good place for a breather. I described him to the rangers as a “man on a mission” - he looked like he was on a serious hike and going for it. I read later that he was keen to get to the Palms to get pictures of the sheep. Maybe that was it.

    The news stories that say “he was last seen at 9am by his wife” are incorrect. Other reporting that says “he was last seen at 9am” is more accurate - that’s about when I saw him. To get where he was on the trail he probably left the trailhead 30 to 40 minutes before then - say 8.30. The drive in from 29 Palms might have been anything from 10 minutes to half an hour depending on where he was staying.

    The hike is relatively short - an hour out and an hour back. There’s a climb of about 300 ft to a ridge then a descent of about the same amount to the palms. But the heat makes it a serious hike. When I started at 7.30 it was low 80’s. When I got back at around 9.30, maybe a bit later, it was high 90’s.

    There’s no shade on the trail other than the boulder I mentioned, and that’s only early, before the sun gets higher. The terrain is open rock, scrub and a few cacti. The heat bounces back at you. I drank 2 1/2 litres of water on the hike. The park info says take at least a litre for each hour you’re out and that’s about right. The trail is on the northern edge of the park and at a lower altitude than the other hikes in the park. It’s a lot hotter than those trails.

    Searching would not have been easy in that heat either, both for people and the dogs. They did what they could and must have pushed themselves very hard. Brave people. Giving their time and all their energy for a stranger they’d never met - a foreigner even. We could do with more of that.

    My heart goes out to his friends and family. The event shook me up but that’s nothing compared to what they are going through.

    My condolences.
     
  13. Bethan

    Bethan Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Neil & thank you for the extremely valuable information you are sharing here.

    My thoughts are with his family & friends at this incredibly difficult time.

    I, for one, have always completely understood why Paul’s wife has returned home to the support of her family, friends & community, while waiting for news of her husbands recovery.

    She needs to be with her children while they all wait, not isolated in a hotel room, far from home, particularly as there is no knowing how long this awful situation will continue.

    There is nothing more she can do for her husband by staying, while the search continues & I certainly would feel a desperate need to return to my home & children to wait it out together.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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  14. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for posting and setting the record straight. I'm sorry you had this experience of being the last person to see Paul alive. I wonder whether you feel different now, about hiking alone in the summer?

    I've read so many stories of otherwise fit, strong people being overcome and killed by summer heat in the desert, it seems it's especially dangerous if the person is exerting themselves, not pausing to rest and drink in shade. Once someone has heat stroke, they can't think straight, they'll wander anywhere, just looking for relief, finding at best a crevice to crawl into. It's a shocking way to go, and so difficult for family and searchers.
     
  15. jash

    jash Well-Known Member

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    I really appreciate you coming on here to set the record straight! Did you happen to see any sheep that morning? I'm wondering if it's possible Paul saw one at the Oasis and followed it off trail.
     
  16. Ontario Mom

    Ontario Mom stay safe ♥ be kind Staff Member Moderator

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    If anything, I hope he at least got to see the sheep.
     
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  17. musicaljoke

    musicaljoke Well-Known Member

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    I work with his first cousin and will pass on your message so that perhaps they can connect with you. I know that the family is really suffering. Thanks for posting such a thoughtful message. I'm sure they they will want to hear your words.
     
  18. whitelilac

    whitelilac On Time Out

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    My goodness, just caught up after being away this weekend.
    I feel so very sad.
    Thank you Neil for posting your info and the facts.
    I have hiked Joshua Tree, Death Valley, and other desert environments. I understand the dangers, any mistake or disorientation can be deadly.
    My thoughts are with Paul's family and good friends.....
     
  19. Hatfield

    Hatfield Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for joining here and setting the record straight on the time you saw him. Wish the news reporting would have given as good of details as you did.

    The news reporting did not make it clear whether the witness ever saw his car in the parking lot or not so I assume based on the times you gave that you saw his car when you left but did not see it when you got there because you beat him onto the trail.

    It sounds like a beautiful place to go. Thanks again for sharing and providing a good description with the timelines.
     
  20. MaryG12

    MaryG12 Well-Known Member

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    I am feeling the same way right now. I guess part of me was hoping Paul was still alive and safe somewhere.

    It's been very hot everywhere, especially here in Florida. I came close to getting sick yesterday morning from the heat (90 degrees and very humid) walking only 3/4 of a mile and downtown where there's a lot of people, and places to stop and get something cold to drink. I always carry a bottle of water with me.
     
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