East Bay hiker, dog missing for 2 days found safe after search in Del Valle Regional Park

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Tuesday, May 21, 2024
East Bay hiker, dog missing for 2 days found safe: authorities
Rescuers searched Del Valle Regional Park for a missing hiker identified as Alex Stecher.

DEL VALLE REGIONAL PARK, Calif. (KGO) -- An Oakland man missing for nearly 48 hours in the wilderness between Sunol and Livermore was finally found by search and rescue teams midday Monday.

Park police say the solo hiker got lost on the trail with his dog. Alex Stecher, 54, and his trail companion Apollo, a bull terrier cattle dog mix were dropped off at Sunol Regional wilderness on Friday morning for an overnight 20 mile hike on the Ohlone trail to Del Valle in Livermore.

When Stecher didn't return at 5 p.m. on Saturday, he was reported missing by 8:30 p.m. that same night.

"It's a large wilderness, Ohlone wilderness area, so we utilized everyone we could, drones and helicopters," said Lt Joseph Scott with the East Bay Regional Park Police.

"We brought in the East Bay regional Park police helicopter, the California Highway Patrol helicopter and the National Guard helicopter. We requested assistance from Alameda County Fire department, East Bay Regional Park Fire department, Alameda county search and rescue."

One hundred people searched on foot and with eight all terrain vehicles. Yet, all day Sunday, they couldn't locate Stecher or his dog.

The search resumed again Monday morning when a San Francisco Water district employee came across Stecher way off the trail in the remote rugged wilderness.

Lt. Scott said, "All things considered he's doing pretty good, the dogs doing pretty good as well. You're assuming he got off the trail and got lost? Yes it looks like he probably went the wrong direction. Instead of going to Del Valle he ended up at San Antonio Reservoir "

Medics were flown in and Stecher was taken as a precaution to a nearby hospital. As the search was called off helicopters were used to ferry search and rescue personnel in from other areas of the vast wilderness.

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