Los Angeles

‘I Thought He Was Dead': Man Who Vanished on Hike With Son Turns Up in Downtown LA

The father said he'd meet his son back at their car, but never returned to the site in the Red Box Trail area of Angeles National Forest

What to Know

  • A search resumed Monday morning for a man who became separated from his adult son during a hike
  • The two agreed to meet back at their car, but the 58-year-old father didn't return Sunday
  • They were hiking in the Red Box Trail area near the Angeles Crest Highway and Mount Wilson Road

A man who disappeared Sunday on a hike with his son in the mountains north of Los Angeles, setting off a search in the wilderness, turned up in downtown LA Monday morning.

Angus Powelson, 65, was reported missing Sunday evening by his adult son after the two became separated in the Red Box Trail area of Angeles National Forest. Ian Powelson wanted to continue hiking, so he and his father agreed to meet later. 

"The son wanted to hike higher and Dad said he'd meet him back at the car at the bottom," Lt. Mark Lopez of the Crescenta Valley sheriff's station said.

His father never showed up.

Ian Powelson, contacted the sheriff's department at about 6 p.m. to say his father was not at the car when he returned. Search and Rescue teams looked for his father, Angus, until 2 a.m. and suspended the search Sunday because it became too foggy, Lopez said.

The search resumed Monday morning, but it turns out that Angus Powelson stayed in the mountains during a chilly overnight, then hiked down by himself and hitched a ride to downtown Los Angeles, according to authorities. His son told NBC4 he was in a search-rescue helicopter Monday morning when a crewmember gave him the "ok" sign, indicating his father had been found.

"I'm relieved," said Ian Powelson. "I thought he was dead. It was freezing cold last night, and he didn't have anything with him."

It appears Angus Powelson took a wrong turn and ended up on the wrong side of the mountain around 4 p.m. Sunday. Fortuitously, he found a sleeping bag along the trail and used it to keep warm.

"When the sun started to set, he actually stumbled across a sleeping bag," said Sgt. John Gilbert, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "In the morning, he got up and he bushwhacked through the mountains and found himself on Big Tujunga Canyon Road."

He eventually made his way to Angeles Forest Highway, where a driver gave him a ride to near downtown Los Angeles. Ian Powelson was visiting from New Hampshire, staying in downtown Los Angeles. His father flew down from Northern California for the hike. 

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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