Search Efforts Suspended for Missing Hiker Larry Conn
at Kings Canyon National Park
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA – Efforts to locate missing hiker Larry Conn have been
suspended after an intense search revealed no clues. The search of likely areas lasted for eight days utilizing
56 personnel from multiple agencies, with 10 ground search teams, three dog teams, and five helicopters.
Conn began a four-day trip in the rugged wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park starting at Taboose Pass
on October 19, when he was seen by an outbound hiker. A winter storm arrived in the area on the evening of
October 20 and deposited up to 12 inches of snow. Conn was reported overdue to the Inyo County Sheriff’s
Department on the evening of October 23, and the Sheriff’s Department confirmed his vehicle was still at the
trailhead. On October 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 October 24 and continued through
October 31. Environmental conditions were challenging in the search area – a total of 48 square miles of
mountainous terrain. Elevations ranged from 8,000 to 14,000 feet. Nighttime temperatures dropped to as low as
15 degrees Fahrenheit. Snowdrifts made travel by foot difficult. Two searchers were evacuated by helicopter
due to medical concerns related to environmental conditions.
The Incident Management Team, with the assistance of the State Search and Rescue Coordinator, reviewed
operations and decided to suspend the active search. According to Incident Commander Dave Fox,
“The National Park Service and our partners have searched for Larry Conn in challenging
conditions in a vast area of wilderness. We have followed up on all potential clues. There is little
information left to direct search operations. We will continue to actively search for Larry Conn,
if new information is revealed through investigation or tips.”
UPDATE – 10-29-12
Searchers Continued to Look for Missing Hiker Larry Conn
at Kings Canyon National Park
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA – Searchers continued to look for missing hiker Larry Conn
at Kings Canyon National Park on Monday, October 29. A total of 45 staff from Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks, in cooperation with the Friends of Yosemite Search and Rescue (“YODOGS”-canine search
and rescue team), Kern County Sheriff’s Office, Sierra Madre Search and Rescue, and Yosemite National Park,
were part of the operation.
Thirteen ground search teams, three dogs, and two contract helicopters (AStar B3,
Bell 206L4) focused on specific high-probability areas around Pinchot Pass, Taboose Pass, and Split Mountain,
including likely travel corridors/camp locations.Conditions were challenging with melting/refreezing cycles
masking potential tracks and creating icy areas, deep snow in drifts, cold temperatures from the mid-40s in the
daytime to the low-20s at night (degrees Fahrenheit), and high elevations (8,000-13,000 feet). No clues were
connected to this hiker today. The search is expected to continue on Tuesday. Managers continue to evaluate
any new information to determine the direction of search efforts over the next days.
Search for Missing Hiker at Kings Canyon National Park and
in the Inyo National Forest Continues
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, CA – The search for missing hiker Lawrence (Larry) Conn, a
53-year-old man from Pacific Palisades, California, continues at Kings Canyon National Park and in the
adjacent Inyo National Forest. As of October 25, a total of 20 staff from Sequoia and Kings Canyon
National Parks and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department are involved in the search-and-rescue, which
includes on-the-ground operations and three helicopters, including one with thermal imaging technology.
The incident is being managed by both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the Inyo County
Sheriff’s Department, with additional support from the Air National Guard and the California Highway Patrol.
On October 24, two helicopters and approximately 12 people from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
and the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department participated in search operations. Efforts were hampered by snow
and high winds.
On Friday, October 19, 2012, Conn started his hike at the Taboose Creek Trailhead in the southern portion of
the Sierra Nevada in the Inyo National Forest with plans to travel over Taboose Pass toward the John Muir Trail
in Kings Canyon National Park. His route may have included Split Mountain and areas to the south, including
Pinchot Pass. He planned to return to the Taboose Creek Trailhead on Monday, October 22, 2012. (See flyer.)
The search area is in rugged terrain at 10,000-12,000 feet in elevation. Approximately 1 to 1-1/2 feet of snow is
on the ground in the search area. (See attached photo.) Temperatures range from the mid-30s in the day to the
low-20s at night (degrees Fahrenheit).
(Press Release from National Park Service)
LAWRENCE (LARRY) CONN
WEIGHT: 160 lbs.
HAIR: Short, black with gray
IDENTIFYING FEATURES: Mustache and goatee
HIKING ROUTE INCLUDED: On Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, Larry started his hike at the
Taboose Creek Trailhead in the Inyo National Forest with plans to travel over Taboose Pass
toward the John Muir Trail in Kings Canyon National Park. His route may have included
Split Mountain and areas to the south, including Pinchot Pass. He planned to be back on
Monday, Oct. 22, 2012.
CLOTHING/EQUIPMENT: Likely wearing dark clothing, may have a red or yellow bandana,
may be using a dark gray or blue backpack and using a tan/red dome tent.
GENERAL INFO: Larry is an experienced backpacker and is familiar with the area.
IF YOU HAVE SEEN/CONTACTED HIM OR HAVE MORE INFO: Please contact
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks’ Dispatch at (559) 565-3195 OR the Inyo County
Sheriff’s Department at (760) 878-0383.