Hiker Sexually Threatened and Terrorized by Armed Suspect, Runs for Her Life

Hiker Sexually Threatened and Terrorized by Armed Suspect, Runs for Her Life
Photo: Sheryl Powell

GRANDVIEW CAMPGROUND – When an experienced and fit hiker, Sheryl Powell (60), of Huntington Beach disappeared on July 12th, questions emerged. What happened when she took her small dog for a bathroom break as her husband re-positioned their Jeep?

The Grandview Campground in the Bristlecone Pine Forest area was the last place the camper and her dog had been seen at their selected, remote campsite. A huge, multi-agency search ensued as soon as her husband used his satellite device to contact law enforcement.

Mr. Powell reported that he had looked for almost an hour for his wife and their small, 5lb. black and white dog.

The search and rescue brought in resources from various locales in CA. Ground teams, dog teams, and aerial reconnaissance searched for nearly four days. Social media was buzzing with skepticism, and was reminded that the family was suffering greatly as they waited for any signs or news.

“Challenges include multiple gullies, shale slopes, low shade, direct sun, and rattlesnakes,” said Inyo Sheriff. “Grandview Campground is located at 8,600 feet and is the closest campground to the ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.”

As the investigations portion of the Powell search continued, Sheriff’s Investigations determined that Mr. Powell was not connected to Mrs. Powell’s disappearance. The family was considered extremely cooperative with Search and Rescue throughout the entire operation.

On July 15th, both Powell and her dog were successfully located about 2.5 miles from the spot where she went missing. In the happiest moments of relief, a story of terror unfolded.

An unknown man with a knife had approached her, threatened her and her dog, and frightened her with a sexual demand. She immediately ran and got lost. She fled for her life, and hid in the remote area.

Authorities are on the lookout for a man described as: “under 6 ft., 180 lbs., bald/shiny head, dark eyes, brown eyebrows, white male but with tanned skin, potentially with a Southern accent, around 50 years old, no visible tattoos, stocky, dark colored backpack, dark green button up shirt with long sleeves, dark colored pants, armed with a 6-8 inch bladed knife with a dark colored handle.”

“Now that Mrs. Powell has been rescued and is back with her family, our primary concern is public safety,” Inyo County Sheriff’s Investigator Shane Scott said. “Short of Mrs. Powell’s eyewitness account of the suspect, there have been no other reports of someone matching this description or incidents reported in Inyo County that are similar to this.”

This case is considered an open investigation. You are urged to report any information by calling 760-878-0383, option 4.

Hiker Sexually Threatened and Terrorized by Armed Suspect, Runs for Her Life was last modified: July 22nd, 2019 by admin
Categories: Inyo
Tags: knife, threat