CA CA - Paul Miller, 51, Canadian missing in Joshua Tree Natl Park, San Bernardino Co., 13 Jul 2018 #2

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

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  1. ispy4u

    ispy4u Well-Known Member

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    I copied it from their site, hope that is okay to share?

    Today is Paul's 52nd birthday.
    It is also day 316 of our search for him

    We all wish nothing more than to celebrate it with him.

    To the guy who always had a smile...
    ...where ever you are, I hope you're smiling.

    Cheers, Paul.
    You are so very missed.

    #FindPaulMiller
     
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  2. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    Posted 1 hour ago/ Update from recent search by Paul's sister, Dawne.
    Note: Once again the dog (Montana) picking up Paul's scent is confirmed, as well as mention of the witness (I assume Neil).

    Find Paul Miller

    BBM

    "Today is Paul’s birthday. It’s been a week now since we returned from Joshua Tree after another search for answers. We still have no clues as to what happened to my little brother. The park looks quite different in springtime. It’s greener and although the wildflowers and cactus plants are almost done blooming, their beauty is still in evidence and their scent often fills the air. We continue to have a love-hate relationship with the park. It’s a spectacular place but there is melancholy associated with it knowing Paul was lost to us there. Springtime is a time of new beginnings and perhaps I hoped that we would find something this time to help us move on.

    Several of Paul’s friends came down to search with us this time. It was interesting to watch their impressions of the trail unfold. I think they went through what we did in the fall. When you see the terrain around the trail, the enormity of the task becomes clearer. Fortunately, we had the support of JOSAR (Search and Rescue) once again. I can’t say enough about these people. We found out that they can’t go in to search officially without a park directive and I think this has been somewhat frustrating for them. Many have been going in unofficially as individuals whenever they can. They don’t get paid to do this so we owe them a huge debt. One of the team leaders has the same birthday as Paul and because of this has developed a passionate drive to find him. She has spent innumerable hours searching the area with her dog. Montana is the same dog who first caught a scent of Paul on the trail back in July and burned her paws so badly on the hot ground that she was out of commission for three months.

    It seems that the report of a witness who saw someone fitting Paul’s description on the trail is what keeps the search within the boundaries of the park. We were unable to get more information on the witness since it is an ‘ongoing’ investigation. Unfortunately if you go missing in a national park, you have to rely on the park’s resources which are considerably less. This is frustrating for us.

    So what was accomplished by going back? Well, we searched a few more areas and have a few more ideas on where to search next once the weather gets cooler again in the fall. Upon looking at the GPX tracks of searchers, we noticed that there are some holes. Some of these areas however, require a trained technical team due to their steepness. We will be asking the park to put something of that nature together. Our thinking is that Paul may have slipped at an overlook taking a picture or may have dropped his camera over the edge and tried to get it back. Something took him off the trail. This line of thinking developed after Dave dropped his walkie talkie by accident one day. Fortunately, he was able to find it again. Another theory put forward by a friend is that for some reason Paul got off trail and headed towards town. Maybe he fell and was injured or got disoriented due to dehydration. If he went overland instead of following the wash, he could get out of the park and end up somewhere between the park boundary and highway 62. JOSAR only has authority to search inside the park. Could he be there?

    The media attention this time was awesome thanks to Ainsley who put so much time into getting the story back out there. She’s a force to be reckoned with! I lost track of how many reporters we talked to. Unfortunately, they usually caught me while I was in the middle of climbing a cliff or clamouring over rocks so I’m not too sure of what I said. The media campaign also brought out more searchers, some from quite far away and some with experience in search and rescue. Many had been looking on their own already. We are extremely grateful for what they have done and continue to do for a total stranger. The campaign also led to the Sheriff’s Dept. contacting me for a DNA sample to keep on file in case remains are found. I truly believe that media attention keeps Paul on the minds of the park administration.

    To finish up, it was so helpful to have Paul’s friends with us this time. They looked at the area with fresh eyes and asked questions that we had not thought of. They delivered more posters, talked with pawn shops, and visited outdoor stores where hikers might shop. They looked into getting Crime Stoppers involved in case of the foul play scenario. They were also there to support us. It’s a lonely and depressing task to finish each day no closer to finding out the truth but it’s so much easier when you have friends to help you through it. Thanks Ken, Laura and Sarah! Tonight we all head to a local bar that Paul and his team mates liked to frequent after playing sports. We’ll raise a toast to a wonderful man who brought so much love and laughter into the lives of those around him. We could all do with a bit of that right now.
    Dawne
     
  3. Blueberry2720

    Blueberry2720 Today would be a fine day for an arrest.

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    Beautiful post. Just one comment.
    WOW!
     
  4. Eevee Pie

    Eevee Pie Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for posting that update. I hope Paul is found. It really seems like he must be in the park.
     
  5. jash

    jash Well-Known Member

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    Paul's wife did a second radio interview a couple weeks ago. Here are the snippets I found most interesting.

    @0:32 - It's hard to believe so much time has gone by and not a trace, not a sign. What's that like for you?
    SM: Well it's really hard to deal with because there's no kind of closure of any kind. After all this time it would be a miracle if he came back, I don't know if that's realistic, but there is no kind of closure so I've been missing him every minute of every day for the last 10 months but there's still that little inkling of a possibility that he's still out there somewhere.

    @1:23 - I think what would give you and your family hope would be the fact that nothing has been found; not a trace of anything he was carrying or anything he was wearing. Has anybody suggested to you that they should have found something by now?
    SM: You would think that something would have been found. It's been 10 months. The park has been doing a great job with their search efforts. We've seen the GPS tracks of where they have covered. Just the amount of people they used. They used dogs. They used all kinds of things to find Paul. And I think if he was in the park they definitely should have found him by now because their effort has been great.

    @2:17 - ...what happened leading up to him going missing?
    SM: We went for breakfast. And it was our last day of our vacation. We were about to check out of the hotel and go and get our plane in Las Vegas, so we were going to spend the last day in Las Vegas. There was one trail that we didn't get to because there was a rainstorm the first day that we got there so kind of put our schedule behind. After breakfast I knew that I would just slow him down and I knew he really wanted to go see the oasis. So after breakfast I decided that I would finish packing and he would go and do the last trail, get the pictures to show me, and that he would be back in about an hour and a half, maybe two hours, and then we would continue our trip home. And I think the one thing that still bothers me is that I can see him standing in the doorway saying goodbye, but I still can't remember what colour shirt he has on.

    @3:21 - I'm assuming he had his cell phone with him.
    SM: He didn't carry anything. He carried water, and just the camera. That was it.

    @5:23 - What is the theory that you've come up with in your head. Do you have something in mind that you think 'it must have been this'?
    SM: You know, different people have different theories. I always joke that it was the aliens, but of course that's a joke. But I think there's foul play. If he was on the trail, he was a good hiker, I think they would have found him by now. I think there was foul play and that his body is somewhere not in the park.

    @5:58 - ... there is a witness that saw him go into the park and who passed him and spoke to him. I would assume that person would have spoken to police as the last person to ever see him.
    SM: He did speak to police, and it's because of that witness that they placed him in the park at all, other than the rental car as well. But if it wasn't for that witness then I'm wondering if they would have searched out of the park.
    Host: Do you think that would have been helpful?
    SM: Yes.

    Nearly One Year Later, Search Efforts Continue To Find Paul Miller - NEWSTALK1010 - Omny.fm
     
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  6. neesaki

    neesaki Well-Known Member

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    Because of one witness, they didn’t search out of the park....
    Why am I getting a bad feeling after reading this?
     
  7. MFH

    MFH Well-Known Member

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    I agree, the initial search is probably one of the quickest to be initiated of all of the cases I’ve followed. The fact that they went out there that day and didn’t find him has always made me feel like he was no longer there. I won’t be surprised either if he is found on the trail one day, but it’s just always made his disappearance a tiny bit hinky for me knowing how quickly he was reported missing and searched for.
     
  8. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    One dog did track his scent out to the Oasis, though. It's linked above in my most recent post. The dog burned his/her paws in the process, so search didn't continue. Not sure if his scent was lost or if it just became too hot to continue that first day.
     
  9. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    And a dog who tracked his scent as far as the Oasis. Linked in my post above. Plus his car parked in the lot at trail head. Seems to me that Paul was in the park and on that trail.
     
  10. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels Amateur speculations and opinion only

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    I believe witness Neil.
     
  11. MntnHiker

    MntnHiker Well-Known Member

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    One explanation that accounts for the dog following his scent AND the witness Neil who placed him on the trail was that Paul hiked out to the oasis and made it back to the parking lot safely, only to meet with foul play in the lot before entering his vehicle. Now it doesn't sound like any blood or evidence of a struggle was found there, though depending on how you overcome someone, there may not be any. I also am unsure what the motive would be since it sounds like he had nothing on him and his car was not carjacked. But there are some messed-up individuals out there that do things that don't make sense.

    I'm not saying I think this for sure happened, but it IS technically a possibility that still allows for the dog and the witness and Paul driving himself out to this trail and hiking it. MOO
     
  12. tarabull

    tarabull Life is a puzzle.

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  13. AzPistonsGirl

    AzPistonsGirl Detroit to the Bone

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    keeping the candle lit here... we're here til you come home, Paul...
     
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  14. SFDukie

    SFDukie Well-Known Member

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    Maui hiker details how she survived 17 days in the jungle
    I do, too
    If one knows this park-it seems most likely to me that he went off trail- at oasis, I’d guess, wandering in search of wildlife, photo, or was hustling and got turned around at oasis.
    And kept going, lost, then got injured- or just dehydrated.

    The towns- 29 palms, and Joshua tree have their fair share of creepy people- more than FS actually. But I don’t see a likely scenario where he ends up there- it doesn’t seem likely that he made it back to his car- to me.
    Outside the park, the only area I see as likely is immediately east of 49 palms oasis. To n- he’d hit town, or the highway. S he’d hit park roads, fairly heavily trafficked. Southeast? Rugged Desert outside of park.

    When people get lost, they often keep going. Very different situation- but a hiker on Maui was rescued recently after wandering, lost, for 17 days. She was found significantly outside of search grids. Many sar protocols stop or curtail searches after 72 hrs- helo searches paid for through a go fund me
    were ultimately what made the difference.
     
  15. j_in_c

    j_in_c Well-Known Member

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    The main difference here is that the hiker in Maui was in an environment conducive to survival - she found water and temperatures were moderate. Hiking in the desert, I think the search radius was smaller for good reason. But it is true that SAR is a game of statistics and resources, 50% of people are found within a certain radius, but there are always outliers who are found at the 95% radius - generally no search has the resources to make that big of a ring.
     
  16. zecats

    zecats Well-Known Member

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    RBBM
    I believe that as well. I think he did make it to the Oasis but not back. The witness was on his way back when he passed Paul hiking out to the Oasis. The dog tracked Paul's scent that far. Makes the most sense that he rested a bit there, or maybe followed some sheep tracks to get a photo, or climbed up somewhere and lost his camera in the process (as stated by his sister). Maybe he fell trying to retrieve it. In any case, disorientation, misdirection, dehydration, all of those worked against him as he wandered farther away in the wrong direction. All imo
     
  17. jash

    jash Well-Known Member

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    From a post by Paul's sister after her recent visit back to JTNP:

    As for the official park directives to search, they only come when something of interest is reported, for example a bone or a piece of fabric. This happens on average about once a month. In my mind, this is not nearly frequent enough. The government shut-down didn’t help of course. A couple went missing a month before Paul and although the man was found within a few days (sadly not alive), the search for the woman continued on a regular basis until her remains were found while we were down there. When I asked why so much more was done to find her than Paul, the answer I got from the Sheriff’s Dept. was that she went missing outside of the park in another wilderness area about 40 minutes away. Because of that, the resources of the Sheriff’s Dept could be called upon. It seems that the report of a witness who saw someone fitting Paul’s description on the trail is what keeps the search within the boundaries of the park. We were unable to get more information on the witness since it is an ‘ongoing’ investigation. Unfortunately if you go missing in a national park, you have to rely on the park’s resources which are considerably less. This is frustrating for us.

    So what was accomplished by going back? Well, we searched a few more areas and have a few more ideas on where to search next once the weather gets cooler again in the fall. Upon looking at the GPX tracks of searchers, we noticed that there are some holes. Some of these areas however, require a trained technical team due to their steepness. We will be asking the park to put something of that nature together. Our thinking is that Paul may have slipped at an overlook taking a picture or may have dropped his camera over the edge and tried to get it back. Something took him off the trail. This line of thinking developed after Dave dropped his walkie talkie by accident one day. Fortunately, he was able to find it again. Another theory put forward by a friend is that for some reason Paul got off trail and headed towards town. Maybe he fell and was injured or got disoriented due to dehydration. If he went overland instead of following the wash, he could get out of the park and end up somewhere between the park boundary and highway 62. JOSAR only has authority to search inside the park. Could he be there?

    Find Paul Miller
     
  18. DsrtDan

    DsrtDan New Member

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    I've been up looking for Paul around 5 or 6 times since I heard about him missing...I will go again. The terrain is quite rugged. But, it's an up and back trail with very little chance to get lost as there are natural landmarks such as looking North to the valley floor of JT and 29 Palms and too difficult to get "!ost". Unless the authorities say otherwise I'm going to keep going up and checking /looking. I don't know Paul but I know the trail pretty well as I run it often. If no foul play took place then he would have gotten hurt or disoriented and wondered I would guess. I have lots of questions regarding this matter. The vehicle he was driving. Did it run when they picked it up or inoperable? What else did he have with him besides a water bottle and camera. Did he have Sun glasses and what kind ? How did he find out about the trail? Why hasn't the authorities given more information and are they holding back information for some reason and, again, why? Why would an "experienced " hiker go without a cell phone? Mind boggling! ...My thinking is he got out there and was rushed for time and maybe tried to get a better vantage point, maybe up a ridge to get a better photo. Maybe by chance he did see a big horn sheep up a ridge and was trying to get a better picture and lost site of it and tried to catch up or get above the sheep and had a mishap...? The terrain is full of large boulders and crevices that he could have fallen in between which would / could have been very difficult for a drone or helicopter to detect. Lots of things could have gone wrong there. I wish the Miller family well and hope they get some closure. Until then lets not give up on finding Paul! Thanks
     
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  19. rosesfromangels

    rosesfromangels Amateur speculations and opinion only

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    Great post!
    I have long speculated and posted that he is stuck between boulders.
    Thank you for looking for him.
    Get a cave camera if you can and drop it between the boulders. I just “know” he’ll be found as such.
    Be safe!

    As always, just an amateur with no lack of opinions!
     
  20. AzPistonsGirl

    AzPistonsGirl Detroit to the Bone

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    yes, thank you for the post and your thoughts and insights about the trail, @DsrtDan. Most of your questions have been discussed/answered somewhere in Paul's two threads here and the big horn sheep/photo theory is one that a lot of posters like as being very probable. I don't have a theory - he could be there, wedged in a crevice, or he may not be anywhere near the park... But it is wonderful to have new eyes out there and new thoughts here. Please be safe and keep us posted if you learn/hear/see anything.

    paul? We're still here, waiting for any news...
     
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