Rescued camper gives Inyo Investigations details of suspect

Inyo County Sheriff’s Office news release
Missing Camper, Investigations Update
INYO COUNTY, CA. July 16, 2019 – Inyo County Investigations met with recently escued, Sheryl Powell. Powell, and her small dog, had been missing since July 12 from Grandview Campground in the Bristlecone Pine Forest area.
Following a massive multiagency search and rescue that involved resources from throughout California including – ground teams, dog teams, and aerial reconnaissance, Powell and her dog were successfully located on July 15 near Montenegro Springs, approximately 2.5 miles from her last known location.
Mrs. Powell’s recounting of events leading up to her disappearance involve being approached by an unknown suspect with a knife, the suspect threatening her and her dog with the knife, the suspect making a sexual remark, then her running away from the suspect and ultimately getting lost.
We are asking that the public be on the lookout for anyone matching the following description: under 6 feet, 180 pounds, 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. 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 – we are urging the public to report anything that might assist by calling 760-878-0383, option 4.

20 Responses to Rescued camper gives Inyo Investigations details of suspect

  1. Eamon May 16, 2021 at 10:57 am #

    Asking again,
    Has anyone followed up on this story and the search for this supposed suspect? It’s been almost 2 years and after 4 days of endless local, state, and national news stories it seems to have been forgotten. Has anyone spoken to Mrs. Powell in the past 2 years for a follow up?
    Also, I’d like to know if the Powells donated to Inyo SAR? Afterall, our locals have to spend their own time searching for tourists who get lost but also have to set up a booth at the swap meet to make money…. I hope the Powells made a sizable donation to SAR.

    • Charles James May 16, 2021 at 11:48 am #

      Sierra Wave put in a request to the Sheriff’s Office eight days ago, but we have yet to receive a response. The report should be a public record. SW’s interest is in a better understanding of what happened, but we’re not looking to extend this story out any more than is necessary despite the extensive interest. This is a painful story for many involved and gratuitous attention is the last thing those trying to heal from the tragedy need. With the recent spate of missing persons over the past year and especially recently, Sierra Wave would like to look for common threads that may offer suggestions from experts on how some things might have been done differently which would have had less deadly outcomes. Better yet, some suggestions on easy, inexpensive access to personal location beacons (PLBs) or satellite messenger devices, perhaps by way of rentals at local sports shops. Also, signage or places in some of these remote areas where people can leave messages for others to let others know where they are or where they are planning to go. The lack of cell service in many parts of DV is a real issue as well that should be addressed as well. Please feel free to add your own suggestions.

  2. Jim overton July 30, 2019 at 1:53 pm #

    I can’t believe most of these responses. The Powell’s had to endure the baseless beliefs the husband killed her. Now they don’t believe the wife’s story. If you don’t have something constructive to say just zip it. No remarks intended to be funny were pathetic. Leave criminal investigations to the police.

    • Old Timer July 30, 2019 at 10:45 pm #

      What about the people that looked for her? What if someone got hurt? Family is always the first suspects in a crime, should the Powell’s be treated differently? What is constructive @ your comments Mr, Overton? Mrs. Powell’s story is unbelievable. I’m female and have hiked these mountains alone for 35 years. I’ve camped and hiked at Grandview and other places in the Whites and Sierras. We should be afraid now that Sheryl Powell has created a boogie man, for God only knows what reasons, although I believe her entire family was in on it. I think she created the boogy man (man /bear/ pig, if you prefer) as an excuse for why she couldn’t get back to the campground or road or even back down into the valley. Not that far for an “experienced hiker”. She was found about 2.5 miles from the paved road. There is a good dirt road (#35E311) going to Montenegro Spring from White Mountain Road, the road that goes to Shulman Grove. What scenario would prevent a fit person from getting back to civilization, given 3 days?
      And, while I am on a roll, what kind of person would try to leave their tiny dog tied up in the backcountry and leave it? Coyote bait? Racoons, Hawks, any carnivorous wild animal could attack and kill the poor little thing, how dreadful to even think about!

  3. Old Timer July 24, 2019 at 12:50 pm #

    Gee, I think Sierra wave is refusing to post any comments that aren’t favorable to the Powell’s. Anybody else think so ?

    • Mono Person July 25, 2019 at 4:02 pm #

      No, I think there are a lot of smart people in Inyo/Mono calling BS….I’m hearing crickets in the follow up investigation.

  4. Trouble July 23, 2019 at 3:23 pm #

    Description sounds like half of Inyo County to me? :))

  5. David Dennison July 21, 2019 at 5:26 pm #

    Oh,gosh,let’s not get all that crazy drama started up again,and I’m betting as to why Law Enforcement got so tight-lipped about things with Karlie Guse,seeming not wanting much public help or input….bickering families,dueling private investigators,physics,Dr.Phil,Nancy Grace playing the blame game with no evidence…..others blaming LE for “not doing their job”.. and all those nutty theories being bantered about…I sure can’t see any parallels to this (alleged) incident and what probably was an early morning abduction off the highway back in October… I think Law Enforcement probably has all the answers they need with this one anyway…and doubt they’ll have much more to say publicly about what they have to know by now.

  6. Bruce July 20, 2019 at 4:33 pm #

    I’m sure the authorities have thought of this. Karlie is still missing and this whako May be involved

    • old timer July 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm #

      You know, its pretty obvious to most people, but they are too polite to say, that the Powell’s faked up the majority of their “story” I remember a quote from Tommy Lee Jones, ” yes, its true that it IS A STORY”. I don’t think Karlie Guses actual disappearance should be compared in any way to Sheryl Powell’s. Thats why its a crime to make false reports to law enforcement. Not only did the Powell’s use thousands of dollars in resources, they gave a description of a person that doesn’t exist, resulting in speculation like yours, which is never going to help find Karlie.

  7. Larry July 19, 2019 at 8:37 am #

    I know it’s a stretch but could this be the same person that slashed the horses last July near Big Pine?

    • Steve July 19, 2019 at 12:40 pm #

      No, wrong description.

      • Benjamin honoes July 19, 2019 at 8:28 pm #

        This guy sounds more like a kitty cat slasher than a horse slasher!

  8. Mono Person July 19, 2019 at 8:21 am #

    Okay, you guys are cracking me up…

    • Eamon April 26, 2021 at 10:33 pm #

      Has anyone followed up on this story and the search for this supposed suspect? It’s been almost 2 years and after 4 days of endless local, state, and national news stories it seems to have been forgotten. Has anyone spoken to Mrs. Powell in the past 2 years for a follow up?

  9. Dr. Dolittle July 19, 2019 at 5:41 am #

    I’m withholding judgment on Ms. Powell’s story till I hear what her pooch has to say.

  10. Kitty Lenoir July 18, 2019 at 11:41 am #

    And what color hat was he wearing?

  11. The Mind Races July 18, 2019 at 6:32 am #

    The suspect sounds like Eddie Sherman from Seinfeld – the wacko Elaine promoted at the J. Peterman catalog.

    I wonder…

    • Steve July 18, 2019 at 4:07 pm #

      I don’t suppose you know the season and episode? Now I’m curious.

      • Bania Tree July 19, 2019 at 8:58 am #

        Season 8, Episode 6, The Fatigues.


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