A man and woman visiting Sequoia National Park in the southern Sierra Nevada in Central California have been missing for nearly a week, the National Park Service (NPS) confirmed.
The NPS issued a media alert on Friday advising people to be on the lookout for Jie Song and Yinan Wang, two Chinese nationals last seen around 2 p.m. on Aug. 6. at the junction of Crystal Cave Road and the Generals Highway in Sequoia National Park.
The duo had attended a Crystal Cave tour that day but vanished after the tour.
According to the NPS alert, Song and Wang planned to travel north to Kings Canyon National Park and stay the night in Fresno, California. The duo had a reservation in Yosemite National Park on Aug. 7, but they never showed up for their reservation.
The NPS said the pair is driving a white 2012 Ford Focus Sedan with the license plate 6XMM431. Wang is described as 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds. He’s 31 years old with black hair and brown eyes. A description of Song was not released. The NPS did release a photo of the duo, as well as a picture of a vehicle of the same make and model as their car. Both were included in this missing person flyer.
Anyone who sees them can reach out to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks at (559) 565-3195.
Mike Theune, public information officer for the park, said Wang has connections to San Diego. NPS officials are working with the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) to track down more information on Wang.
For now, agencies involved in the search for Song and Wang include NPS law enforcement from both Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, the sheriff's offices in Fresno and Tulare counties, and NPS law enforcement from Yosemite National Park.
A license plate belonging to the Ford Focus was found in the brush off a 500-foot cliff below Highway 180 near Convict Flat in the Sequoia National Forest by a Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team recovering another car that went through a guard rail and over the cliff.
The Sheriff’s Office and CHP flew helicopters over the canyon to see if there were any signs of the Ford Focus following the August 8 discovery. Vehicle parts were found about 40 meters upstream from the other car in Kings River, but it is unclear if the parts belong to the Focus. Members of the search and rescue team will have to retrieve the parts before drawing any conclusions. No additional bodies besides the two from the other crash have been found in the water.
The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team are now conducting a parallel investigation involving the Ford Focus as they try to recover the original car that fell over the cliff.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park lie side by side and are known for their enormous trees, grand mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons and vast caverns. Each year, more than 1.8 million visitors come to the parks.
On Saturday, the NPS website for the parks included a warning to visitors about the dangers of rivers and creeks within the parks, telling visitors to keep their distance from the water. The alert noted that “currents are faster and more powerful than they appear” and four people have drowned.
“If you slip and fall in, getting out can be almost impossible,” the warning added. “Please: use extreme caution around water. Return safely to your family.”