Thursday, February 18, 2021

Hemet: Human remains found in Mountain Center, confirmed to be missing woman from July 2020

On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, family members of 73-year-old Rosario Garcia reported her missing from their residence in Hemet. Garcia was last seen driving her silver 2016 Nissan Altima away from the residence. 

On Thursday, July 9, 2020, deputies from the Palm Desert Station responded to the 70100 Block of Hwy 74, Mountain Center in regards to Garcia’s vehicle being located in the area. The vehicle was located and it appeared to have become high centered on the rough road. Garcia was not located in or around the vehicle. 

A search by Desert Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (DSSAR), Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit (RMRU), bloodhounds and Riverside County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit was conducted, however, Garcia was not located. On Saturday, August 8, 2020, an additional search of the area was conducted. RMRU and Hemet Station personnel searched the mountainous area but were again unsuccessful in locating Garcia.

On Friday, February 5, 2021, personnel from RMRU, Riverside County Search Dogs, Riverside County Coroner’s Bureau, Riverside County Forensics, Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team and personnel from the Hemet Station responded to the the Mountain Center area and conducted a search in an area where information was received that possible human remains had been seen. 

Human remains consistent with an adult female were located in the area as well as items belonging to Rosario Garcia. Our Coroner’s Bureau was able to obtain a positive identification that the remains belonged to Rosario Garcia. There is no evidence of foul play.

Anyone with information regarding this incident can contact Inv. Negrete at the Hemet Station at (951) 791-3400. Anyone wishing to contact or support the volunteers from the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit can contact them by email at info@rmru.org, Desert Sheriff Search and Rescue can be contacted at (760) 836-1600, and the Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation can be contacted by email at info@fofound.org.

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