San Diego

Search Continues for Missing Oceanside Hiker

Dozens of volunteers headed to a mountainous section of Riverside County Saturday to help search for an Oceanside man who’s been missing for nearly six months.

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

Back in Oceanside, Sturkie’s wife Teresa has been organizing search parties. 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.

Teresa told NBC 7 he loved the outdoors in Oceanside and also in the mountains. "He is kind of unstoppable when he decides to do something,” she said.

She said he also loved spending time in the wilderness.

"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'm very afraid that he either got hypothermia or what I most likely think happened is that he tried to hike out and something happened and he fell and broke something,” Teresa explained.

Theresa says she’s struggling to stay strong for their children, but is leaning on her faith to help cope.

"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 Sturkie’s family pay the mortgage and keep the search going.

Unfortunately, the 44 volunteers came back empty handed on Saturday's search.

Another search party is scheduled for June 22nd. More information can be found on a Facebook page dedicated to the search effort.

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