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Missing Joshua Tree hiker located

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, Calif.- - UPDATE: 2:10 P.M. - Deno Ndilula, who was reported missing in Joshua Tree National Park on Wednesday afternoon, has been found safe.

According to a news release sent out by Joshua Tree National Park's public information officer, George Land, Ndilula, a 31-year-old Namibian national, came in contact with campers Thursday morning and was brought to a Twentynine Palms restaurant. 

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A search is underway for a hiker reported missing in Joshua Tree National Park on Wednesday.

31-year-old Namibian national Deno Ndilula was last seen around 2:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in the Willow Hole area of the Boy Scout Trail in Joshua Tree National Park.

Ndilula and a hiking companion embarked on a hike on the southern end of Boy Scout Trail at around 8 a.m., became confused with the trail in the Willow Hole area around 2:00 p.m., and then separated.

Ndilula's companion made it to Keys Ranch and used an emergency radio to call for assistance and notify park rangers.  At 5:50 p.m., Ndilula called 911 on his cell phone and searchers were able to pinpoint the origin of the call but were unable to locate him, as they were hampered by "dwindling daylight conditions" according to a news release from the park.

The search continued Thursday morning at 6 a.m. No further communication has been heard from the subject since the 911 call. 

Boy Scout Trail is listed on the National Park Service website as being among the most difficult in Joshua Tree. It is a 'Challenging Hike', and hikers are advised not to attempt it in heat. The estimated hike time for the trail is six hours. The trail is eight miles in length.

"One way. Go deep into the Wonderland of Rocks. Stay on trail to avoid getting lost among the boulders," read Joshua Tree National Park's trail description. "Most hikers prefer to start at the south trailhead, inside the West Entrance, and finish at Indian Cove. Vehicle shuttle strongly recommended for hikers interested in doing the full length the trail."

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department deputies are working in conjunction with park rangers and Joshua Tree National Park Search and Rescue volunteers.

 


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