Search for missing Camp Pendleton Marine underway in Sierra Nevada

1st Lt. Mathew Kraft of 1st Marine Division was reported missing after he “missed his return date” from a trip on the High Sierra Route.
(1st Marine Division)

A massive search was underway in the state’s Sierra Nevada region for a Camp Pendleton Marine who apparently didn’t return from a skiing and hiking trip that was scheduled to end earlier this week, authorities said.

The search for 1st Lt. Mathew Kraft of 1st Marine Division began Monday. Kraft was reported missing after he “missed his return date” from his trip on the High Sierra Route, Marine officials said in a statement.

The High Sierra Route is a trek that stretches almost 200 miles through the Sierra Nevada mountains — from Kings Canyon National Park to northern Yosemite National Park.

Authorities were searching for Kraft’s rental vehicle: a gray two-door 2016 Jeep Wrangler presumably located near his trip’s starting point near or around Independence in Inyo County. He began his trip on the Kearsarge Pass Trail on Feb. 23, authorities said.


His trip was set to end near Bridgeport in Mono County on Monday or Tuesday, authorities said.

The search has turned into a joint effort that includes the sheriff’s departments in Inyo, Mono and Fresno counties, as well as other agencies including the California Highway Patrol, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the Marine Corps.

Anyone with information about Kraft’s whereabouts is asked to call Inyo County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 878-0383, option 4; Mono County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 932-7549, option 7; or Fresno County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600-8400.

Hernandez writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune