San Diego

Recovered Body Believed to be Oceanside Hiker Missing Since January

Riverside County search and rescue crews found the body believed to be that of an Oceanside hiker who's been missing since January.

John Sturkie hasn't been seen or heard from in nearly six months, but his truck was found in March in a remote area of Mount San Jacinto State Park.

Back in Oceanside, Sturkie’s wife Theresa has been organizing search parties nearly every weekend. She fears her husband got stuck in the mountain snow and had a terrible accident, but she won’t know for sure until his body is recovered.

Theresa told NBC 7 over the weekend that a body was found in the park, and it could be John's.

The Riverside County Sheriff's Department said drones helped disover the body in the rugged mountians along the Black Meadow Truck Trail. Officials are still waiting on DNA analysis to confirm the identification, but a jacket and cell phone were found along with it that Theresa says belonged to her husband.

One reason the possible discovery took so long was that the area had been blanketed in snow for months.

“It was just a great relief because we did it. We found him and thanks to the sheriff’s, we found him. I think that’s the way it was meant to be. It really helps me and the children," Theresa said.

She told NBC 7 in May her husband loved the outdoors and spending time in the wilderness, and that "He is kind of unstoppable when he decides to do something."

"I knew that he didn't leave me or anything like that. He's such a family person that that's not something that he would have even fathomed to do. If he was gonna do something like that it would be an easier way,” Teresa said.

Nothing about Teresa's search for her husband of 21 years has been easy. It wasn't until February that his cell phone was tracked to the wilderness area near Fuller Ridge. In March a hiker found his truck.

"I was grateful, though, that they found our vehicle because it gave us a point for which to search for him,” Teresa said.

There have been searches since then and some clues have been found, but not John Sturkie.

"I miss him sitting next to me in church. We say a family rosary every night,” she said.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Sturkie family.

Over the last six months, the ordeal has forced Theresa to learn about mountains, maps, and rescue searches. She says she is now dedicated to helping others find their missing loved ones, like hiker David O’Sullivan. He was last seen April 7, 2017 in Idyllwild. O’Sullivan’s family is from Irealand, and Sturkie has tried to maintain contact with them through social media.

She’s encouraging people to visit the Facebook page: David O’Sullivan Missing - PCT Hiker. Also, anyone with information can use the email 

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