Missing Yosemite staffer found OK

Union Democrat staff /

A Yosemite National Park employee has been found alive after being reported missing Sunday when she didn't show up for her first day of work.

Jessica Rose Garcia, 23, was found Tuesday afternoon by a member of the Yosemite National Park search and rescue team less than two miles up the South Fork drainage of the Merced River, in the park's southern region, an official statement said.

She was last seen around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday morning walking around the Wawona residential area.

Garcia had been hiking off-trail in what was described as a "rugged area" of the park.

She had just attended an employee orientation session, but did not show up for work Sunday at the Wawona Hotel as scheduled.

About 50 people were involved in the search operation Tuesday, which included six dog teams, 15 ground searchers, a park ranger on horseback, the park helicopter and other personnel, the statement said.

Garcia was located around 1 p.m., the park said.

She was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment

The park said the sheriff's offices in Tuolumne, Madera, Mariposa, Fresno and Marin counties, along with the YoDogs, a volunteer group with search and rescue dogs assisted with the search.

11882066
The Union Democrat
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