On June 22, 2019, an 11-year-old female from Bakersfield was swept away by the Kern River in the Keysville area. The flow of the river at the time was approximately 4,000 cubic feet per second.
Teams from Kern Valley Search and Rescue spent countless hours to locate and recover her body over the following months; however, their search efforts yielded no results because river flows remained unseasonably
Between June 22 and November 1, volunteers spent more than 3,000 man-hours on various searches along the river. Even though some of the search efforts extended several miles to the Delonegha Bridge area, most of the searching was concentrated on the first six miles downstream from where the juvenile went missing. The decision to focus specifically on this area was based upon the experiences of past searches similar to this one.
When the river began flowing at a more seasonable 350 cubic feet per second, the Kern County Sheriff’s Office organized a final effort to locate the body. On November 23, approximately 60 volunteers from various Kern County SAR teams arrived to help. The Sheriff’s Office also arranged for mutual aid from the Office of Emergency Services to send cadaver dogs/handlers from CARDA (California Rescue Dog Association). Unfortunately, despite this large-scale search, we were unable to locate the body.
These searches and the many others like them would not be possible without the efforts of our amazing SAR volunteers.