Search ongoing for missing woman in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Mary Joanna Gomez (left).

Mary Joanna Gomez, 56, of Mississippi has not been heard from since she texted her daughter on Thursday, Oct. 24. Gomez, a nurse who is on assignment in San Francisco, reportedly left the city on Wednesday, Oct. 23, for vacation.

She is described as 5 feet, 7 inches, in height with white hair; her ethnicity is unknown. She was driving a dark gray 2018 Toyota C-HR with Mississippi plates.

The text communication with her daughter included photos of different sites in Kings Canyon National Park: Roaring River Falls, the Kings Canyon, and Grant Grove.

Mary Joanna Gomez

Mary was expected back at work on Friday, Oct. 25, and missed her shift. Her family reported her missing to the San Francisco Police Department.

Staff working at the Giant Forest Museum think they saw the missing woman on Saturday, Oct. 26, at about 9 a.m., when she was inquiring about things to do and see in the Giant Forest.

Anyone who has been in the parks since Wednesday, October 23, specifically in the Little Baldy area, and think they may have seen Mary Joanna Gomez or her vehicle, call the tip line at 888-677-2746.

According to Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, Sequoia-Kings Canyon public information officer, on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 12:30 a.m., Gomez’s vehicle was located at the Little Baldy trailhead in Sequoia National Park (on the Generals Highway about 5 miles north of Lodgepole) by a ranger who was responding to another call. After it was confirmed to be her vehicle, the ranger left a note in case she returned, but at last report, her vehicle remains in the same location.

A Toyota C-HR like the one Mary Joanna Gomez is reportedly driving.

Several search-and-rescue teams have been searching in the vicinity of Gomez’s vehicle. More teams will be joining the search as will a helicopter for an aerial search.

Gomez’s husband and daughter arrived in Kings Canyon National Park on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 27. They are with National Park Service staff.

As of yesterday, the family reportedly did not suspect mental health or foul play. An investigation is continuing.

The following comment was posted Sunday, Oct. 27, on Facebook by Gomez’s daughter:

“She was last known to be wearing a black puffer jacket, navy mid-ankle hiking shoes (I believe Merrill), and carrying a small purple hiking backpack.”

See subsequent article with updates here.




2 thoughts on “Search ongoing for missing woman in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

  • October 27, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    I’m sure they’re combing the area above the trailhead that goes to Little Baldy, but have they also looked carefully at the these trails: one goes over to Dorst Creek, the other goes downhill to Hidden Spring, eventually ending at the Crystal Cave Road? I used to ride my mare out that way from Stony Creek every year. Could be she stumbled upon a m-planting? Or some growers? Certainly hope not; pray they will find her safe and sound!
    Sophie Britten

  • October 29, 2019 at 9:57 am

    After getting lost and spending four nights in 20+ degree weather, Mary Gomez was found by search parties Monday afternoon! In large part, due to her own efforts (she had spelled out “SOS” with rocks), her location was discovered from a search plane, and then it was just a matter of ground crews making their way to her.
    Great job, NPS!


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