fbpx LASD continues search near Azusa for hiker missing since March 9
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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / LASD continues search near Azusa for hiker missing since March 9

LASD continues search near Azusa for hiker missing since March 9

by Joe Taglieri
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Search efforts are ongoing to locate a hiker missing nearly a month and last seen in the area of the Bridge to Nowhere and San Gabriel River north of Azusa, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“The search continues, and the next area of interest will be the reservoir downstream which will be searched methodically moving forward,” said Michael Leum, assistant director of the Community Partnerships Bureau/Reserve Forces Detail, which is the sheriff’s bureau that coordinates efforts involving civilian volunteers and search and rescue operations.

Leum said the area of focus is about 5 miles of challenging terrain and wet conditions due to winter storms.

“While efforts are constant and ongoing, there are more hours spent searching on the weekends when the volunteer (search and rescue team) members are available,” Leum said. 

On March 9, 59-year-old Rona May Cuena was last seen around 9 a.m. near the Bridge to Nowhere Trail near Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains before the river current swept her away.

Cuena is a Filipino woman, 5 feet tall, weighing 105 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen dressed in a blue jacket, blue pants, a blue hat and gray shades.

The San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team is leading the effort, which is focused on the area of the Bridge to Nowhere trailhead and involves several other groups of rescuers and specialists from throughout LA County, according to the sheriff’s department.

An Orange County Harbor Patrol dive team also assisted with the operation to locate Cuena, as did these agencies: the Altadena Mountain Rescue Team, Catalina lsland Search & Rescue, LA County Fire Department, LASD Explorers, LA County Search Dogs, Malibu Search and Rescue Team, Montrose Search and Rescue Team, San Dimas Sheriff’s Station, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, LASD Aero Bureau for drone assistance, LASD Special Enforcement Bureau, Sierra Madre Search & Rescue and LA County Disaster Communication Services.

Authorities urged anyone with information on Cuena’s whereabouts to contact the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Missing Persons Detail at 323-890-5500. For anonymous tips, the public can call Crime Stoppers, 800-222-8477, or go to lacrimestoppers.org.

Rona May Cuena. | Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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