News Story


Los Padres National Forest - Search for Missing Hiker Continues
6/20/2014 8:00:00 AM


Nature of Incident:

Search for Missing Hiker Continues

Report Number:



Near Sulphur Peak, North of Fillmore, California

Date & Time:

June 20, 2014  5:00 p.m.

Unit(s) Responsible:

Sheriff's Administration, Sheriff's Aviation Unit, Sheriff's Search & Rescue

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence


(P) Herdman, Michael

Dana Point, CA



The search continues for a missing off-duty City of Arcadia firefighter in the back country north of Fillmore.  Michael Herdman, age 36, was reported missing on the evening of June 15th.  Numerous search & rescue resources have searched the rough terrain day and night during the past week.


Herdman was last seen by a hiking partner June 13th. Herdman's friend eventually returned to the starting point of the four-day backpacking loop.  Many search & rescue resources have joined in the search, including teams from Ventura County Sheriff's Office, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Fresno County Sheriff's Department, Kern County Sheriff's Department, Orange County Sheriff's Department, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department, Civil Air Patrol, Department of Homeland Security Rapid Response Team,  and Ventura County Sheriff's Aviation Unit and Search & Rescue K-9's.  Search & Rescue teams are specially trained personnel that volunteer their time away from work and their families to train and participate in rescue operations.  Up to 75 personnel are attached to this incident each day.


Air Search & Rescue operations also include the use of the Qube Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).  The Ventura County Sheriff's Office received a temporary emergency certificate of authorization to deploy the UAS in the search area.  Simi Valley based Aeronvironment contributed a Puma UAS in the search.  Aeronvironment is operating the Puma with a certificate of authorization under direction from the University of Alaska.


Search & Rescue teams have been working in rugged terrain during warm daytime temperatures. Thus far, there have been four search team members injured during the incident, ranging from a rattlesnake bite to heat exhaustion.


Hikers are discouraged from entering the search area as this operation continues.


Prepared by:

Captain Don Aguilar


Media Release Date:

June 20, 2014


Follow-up Contact

Captain Don Aguilar (805) 797-7349 


Approved by:

Captain Dave Wareham