Location: Balch Park campground

Incident Date: 08-07-2016

Incident Time: 1600 hours

Case Number: 16-09976

Victim: Isabel Vela

City: Bakersfield

Posted by: Dispatch

Search  and Rescue

On Sunday, 08/07/2016 at approximately 1600 hours, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office was advised of a missing person in the area of Balch Park within the mountains of Tulare County. The missing person, Isabel Vela, 37 of Bakersfield, had left her campsite for a day hike and never returned.

Deputies arrived on scene and conducted hasty search operations with the assistance of CAL Fire personnel. By nightfall, Vela had not been located and search operations were suspended due to darkness and the steep, dangerous terrain.

The Tulare County Sheriff Office’s Search & Rescue Team was notified and began planning search operations for the following morning. Search operations began at 0700 hours on Monday and at approximately 1230 hours, Vela was located by searchers in the very steep and rugged terrain of Bear Creek. With assistance and aerial support from Lemoore Naval Air Station SAR, the victim was hoisted out of the canyon and flown to safety with minor cuts, bruises and exposure related injuries. Vela was treated at the scene and required no additional medical assistance.